CHAOS WALKING (2020) Reviews and overview

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‘No one escapes the noise’

Chaos Walking is a 2020 American science-fiction fantasy film set in a dystopian world where there are seemingly no women. Meanwhile, all living creatures can hear each others’ thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.

Directed by Doug Liman from a screenplay written by Ness and Christopher Ford, based on Patrick Ness’s 2008 novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, the film stars Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; Candyman; Scrawl), Tom Holland (The Devil All of the Time; Spider-Man: Far from Home), Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Kurt Sutter, Nick Jonas, Cynthia Erivo and David Oyelowo.


In the near future, Todd Hewitt has been brought up to believe that a pathogen has killed all women in a colony world and unleashed Noise, the special ability to hear people’s and animals’ minds.

Later, he comes upon a patch of silence and soon discovers the source of the silence: a mysterious woman named Viola Eade – the first he has ever met. On the run, they learn more about the true history of the New World…


” …a series of scenes that sort of work stitched together, but don’t feel natural together at all, scuppering its half-hearted attempts to find another YA dystopia to become a box-office hit. Chaos definitely walks among its muddled intents, but perhaps not in quite the poetic way Ness’ original work intended it to.” Gizmodo

Chaos Walking doesn’t do nearly enough to take advantage of its talented cast or the thematically ripe Noise which plagues the men of its world. Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley could have been a compelling duo, but they aren’t supported by a creative team that can get on the same page about what the focus of the movie should be. With its charms few and far between, Chaos Walking is a tough sell…” IGN

“This orphaned YA-fantasy story still has moments that feel like a quintessential Liman project, and not especially because of any obvious thematic preoccupations, or even an inimitable style. Instead, for much of its running time, Chaos Walking manages to sustain the feeling of anticipating a Doug Liman movie — the unpredictability of whether it will succeed against the odds, or descend into chaotic noise.” Polygon

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In October 2011, Lionsgate Entertainment acquired the rights to a film adaptation of Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy, to be produced by Doug Davison’s production company Quadrant Pictures. Charlie Kaufman wrote the first draft of the screenplay. Subsequent drafts were written by Jamie Linden, Lindsey Beer, Gary Spinelli, John Lee Hancock and Ness himself.

Principal photography on the film began in Montreal, Quebec on August 7, 2017, and wrapped in November 2017.

After poor test screenings, reshoots directed by Fede Álvarez (Evil Dead) were shot in April and May 2019 added an additional $15 million to the film’s budget. In 2020, with edits and production finalised, Ness and Christopher Ford were given final credit on the screenplay. However, a release was further delayed by the ongoing pandemic. Chaos Walking is now scheduled to be released on March 5, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Daisy Ridley … Viola Eade, a woman without Noise who is the key to unlocking secrets for the New World
Tom Holland … Todd Hewitt, a boy living on the distant planet of New World
Mads Mikkelsen … David Prentiss, the cruel Mayor of Prentisstown
Demián Bichir … Ben Moore, one of Todd’s adoptive fathers
Kurt Sutter … Cillian Boyd, one of Todd’s adoptive fathers
Nick Jonas … David “Davy” Prentiss Jr., the Mayor’s son and one of the soldiers
Cynthia Erivo … Hildy, an important ally to Todd and Viola, and the leader of Farbranch, a peaceful settlement in the New World that is forced to take a stand against Mayor Prentiss and his growing army
David Oyelowo … Aaron, a violent priest in the New World who seeks after Todd and Viola
Óscar Jaenada … Wilf, an ignored and excluded drifter who becomes instrumental in Todd and Viola’s plot against Mayor Prentiss
Marc Primeau … Whaler


Chaos Walking is scheduled to be released on January 22, 2021, by Lionsgate.



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