July 29th, 2008

CHAOS (2007) *

Jason Statham stars as a disgraced cop who is called to the scene of a bank robbery gone wrong by the thieves’ ringleader (Wesley Snipes).  During the robbery, Snipes and his men fake their deaths and escape disguised as hostages (the same idea was used in Bill Murray’s Quick Change), but Statham’s rookie partner (Ryan Phillippe) figures things out and the duo pursue him.  Predictable plot twists and obvious double crossing ensue. 


As with most high-tech thieves in movies nowadays, Snipes uses a computer to pull off the heist.  The computer is programmed to steal a little bit of money from various accounts in the bank.  Likewise, the script steals a little bit from other (better) movies left and right.  With the exception of one scene where a topless chick randomly attacks Phillippe with a baseball bat, the film is predictable as all get out and is deadly dull to boot. 


If it wasn’t for Wesley Snipes’ trouble with the IRS, this MIGHT have played in theaters, but I highly doubt it.  Despite the presence of a handful of “name” stars, this rightly went straight-to-DVD.  A lot of the movie has STD (straight-to-DVD, not sexually transmitted disease) written all over it.  The action scenes suffer from a lack of a decent budget and are directed without an ounce of style.  The fact that the film has zero suspense doesn’t exactly help matters any either.  The editing is particularly inept and the music sounds like something out of an early 90’s Spice Channel promo.  The movie also features a record number of people getting shot in the arm; not exactly something to be proud of. 


Statham left his chemistry in his other pants and Phillippe is his usual wooden ass self, but at least Snipes (who now seems pretty comfortable in his STD surroundings) has SOME fun with his (curiously brief) role.  He has a modicum of energy, something the other two leads sorely lack and gets to spout out a lot of nonsense about “Chaos Theory” (the same shit that Jeff Goldblum went on and on about in Jurassic Park), which is the excuse for the bland title.  Snipes also gets the best line of the movie during the robbery when he tells the customers:  “Y’all picked the wrong day not to use an ATM!”


A bunch of extremely pissed off ninjas kill Sho Kosugi’s family.  Bad move for them, especially since Sho is basically Charles Bronson in a kimono.  Unlike Big Chuck, Sho actually catches the murderers in the act and quickly dispatches about thirty or so guys in black pajamas while hardly breaking a sweat.  Luckily his newborn baby is spared and he takes the little tyke to live in America away from the ninja clan who are trying to murder him.  The kid grows up to be a nerd, but since he can throw down like his old man, he can easily beat up the toughest bullies in the third grade.  America is also great because there’s also this foxy little blonde number (Ashley Ferrare) who wants Sho to show her “the way of the ninja” on the gym floor. 


Sho tells her:  “If you want to work out, you forgot your pants!”


Well enough romance stuff.


Anyway, Sho moved to America not so he could roll around on the floor with bleach blonde broads, it’s because he’s given up the ninja game and wants to open up a doll shop.  (Not the most masculine thing in the world for a guy to do but hey, this is Sho Kosugi we’re talking about here.  He just wiped out thirty dudes in pajamas in the first five minutes of the movie.  I’m not going to be the one to tell him that porcelain dolls are a little on the femme side, are you?)  When Sho learns that his business partner (Arthur Roberts from Not of This Earth) AND the sexy blonde are smuggling heroin in his dolls, he goes on a one-man-karate-kick-anything-that-breathes rampage.  Then Roberts kills Sho’s mama and kidnaps his kid and that makes Sho REALLY mad. 


Sho then does battle with his mortal enemy on a rooftop volleyball court and I have to tell you something Video Vacuumers, it’s some of the greatest ninja fighting filmed on a rooftop volleyball court you’ve ever seen. 


I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but let’s just say somebody gets their innards sprayed a good twenty feet out of their body.    


Folks, this movie has EVERYTHING.  We have an Indian henchmen flying through the air in slow motion, somersaulting kung fu grandmas, a belt buckle that doubles as a ninja star, a snot nosed kid karate chopping the crap out of his babysitter, and a street gang version of the Village People.  My favorite scene though comes near the end when the bad ninja shoots flames out of his hands and Sho more or less is unfazed by it.  He never stops to say something like, “Whoa, holy shit!  People can actually shoot flames out of their hands?  How in the Hell did you do that?  They didn’t teach ME that at Ninja School!”  He just takes it at face values and keeps going.  That’s just the kind of ninja Sho is.  You got to respect that. 


There’s also this amazing scene where the bad guys shoot arrows at Sho and he catches them… WITH HIS TEETH!  But if you thought that was cool, wait until you see the scene where he jumps through a windshield of a moving van and kicks BOTH the passenger and the driver at the same time!  The kung fu carnage also includes people being stabbed, sliced up with scythes, getting throwing stars in their eyeballs, taking arrows to the back, and having their hands cut off.  We also get a pretty great fight scene on a playground in there too.


You have to hand it to Golan-Gobus; they sure knew how to churn out a ninja movie. 


This flick also has more cheesy lines than you can shake a samurai sword at.  Some of my favorites include:  “You can’t fight the ninja forever, you have a son!”, “You mean there are ninjas running around in the 20th century?”, “He hypnotized me!  He’s a ninja!”, and the immortal:  “Only a ninja can stop a ninja!”


AKA:  Ninja 2.  AKA:  Way of the Ninja.