Saturday at the Cinema

Life is slowly but surely returning to the movie theaters.  Last week it was Tom & Jerry (not for me) that brought back some families.  This week there was a new Disney animated feature, Raya and the Last Dragon, and a new sci-fi adventure starring Peter Parker and Rey Skywalker.  That’s where I landed this morning.

Chaos Walking has one interesting thing going for it: the action takes place on a planet where men’s thoughts are mysteriously vocalized and sort of animated.  The quirk is never really explained.  It makes for an interesting visual while also allowing for some real humor.  If there’s one other thing the movie has going for it, it’s Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland at their young-adult prime.  They bring a lot of goodwill with them, I think, which is good, because you never know how long young actors will stick around.  So this really is a right time, right place movie for both of them.  It’s a quest movie, of sorts.  It’s got some social commentary (which gets revealed in an interestingly sad way).  And it’s got some great action scenes with some good twists.  And spoiler: it’s probably the closest Holland will ever get to a real “Uncle Ben” scene.

I wonder about movies like this in these cinematic days.  Were movie-makers expecting this to be a big hit (or potentially a big flop) in pre-Covid days?  One of the nice realities of the movie theater right now is that nothing feels like much of a hit . . . which can be a good thing as much as it can be a bad thing.  And while, like last week’s Crisis, this is a movie with an unfortunate name, Chaos Walking does a good job entertaining without being too bold, too brash, or too boring.  Here’s the trailer if you’re interested.

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