Chain Reaction (1996)

Director Andrew Davis reworks his FUGITIVE formula and the results 
are about as exciting as his last film-- the dreadful comedy STEAL 
BIG, STEAL LITTLE-- was funny.  Keanu "I'd rather play music than 
play another action hero" Reeves is the grad student on the run, 
who, along with his superfluous sidekick (Rachel Weisz), has been 
framed for a sabotaged science experiment that vaporized eight 
Chicago city blocks.  (The mushroom-cloud explosion is a knock-out
and easily the best part of the movie.  Or, as one audience member 
succinctly summed it up: "whoa.")  False information implicates 
their involvement and boy and girl are soon on the run, fleeing 
over open drawbridges, across icy lakes, and through the corridors 
of power at a top-secret, underground energy facility.  Aiding and 
abetting is the team's shady mentor, played in an excellent-but-so-
what performance by Morgan Freeman.  (Brit Brian Cox is also about, 
as the behind-the-scenes bad guy.  He has some fun fiddling with a 
Southern accent.)  Unfunny, overscored, and without a single shred 
of suspense, CHAIN REACTION is *the* summer movie to walk out on.  
If you make it to the end, a mess of cross-cutting involving 
another imminent explosion, you'll hear somebody say "I guess it's 
time to go."  Heed that warning.  (Rated "PG-13"/100 min.)

Grade: D+

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted in triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: August 4, 1996

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