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Chain Reaction (1996)

tomatometer

30

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.

audience

27

liked it
Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 52,151

My Rating

Movie Info

Just as the university research team is about to prove that their new technique will permit water to be used as a fuel, their laboratory is sabotaged and the lab manager is killed. Eddie Kasalivich (Keanu Reeves) stumbles onto the scene and manages not only to witness the sabotage, but to escape from it. When he tries to talk about it to authorities, he discovers that they think he and the other project survivors committed the crime. In reality, a group of energy companies have conspired with

May 22, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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All Critics (40) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (27) | DVD (14)

It's not a bad film in individual moments and in the energy of itsperformances, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The narrative is very complex, but what's on the screen is little more than generic, non-narrative-specific, guy-being-chased stuff.

January 1, 2000
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chain Reaction isn't dull -- the film is paced to keep audiences attentive -- but the lack of originality dampens its enjoyability.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...the movie often feels like an attempt by filmmaker Andrew Davis to replicate the massive (and entirely justified) success of 1993's The Fugitive.

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

A pretty typical take on the "wrongly-accused" genre.

September 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

As dull and run-of-the-mill as they come.

December 8, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Watchable but forgettable Fugitive-clone. Keanu as rocket scientist - more power to him.

August 11, 2003
About.com

A generic and illogical transparent thriller that never generates any chemistry between this mundane movies leads Reeves and Freeman. The only chain reaction one will receive is blatant boredom

June 7, 2003
TheWorldJournal.com

Just one of the many Keanu speed bumps found in your local video store.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

The chain reaction among audiences will likely be a contagious snore.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Just one more summer explosion.

April 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Chain Reaction is even dumber than Fled -- as hard as that may be to believe.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

There are a couple of good explosions in the film, particularly the opening one. In addition, the movie has an intriguing premise. If only they went somewhere original with it...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter
Cinematter

A little humor would have helped immensely.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

The film is dull and drags.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Ultimately, any movie in which even Morgan Freeman manages to give a lackluster performance can only be considered a seriously botched job.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Exhilarating but skin-deep summer fun. (You were expecting Shakespeare?)

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Audience Reviews for Chain Reaction

I remember seeing the trailer for this film way back in 96 at the cinema. It looked really quite cool and exciting, Reeves was flying high at the time and it boasted some snazzy CGI, talk about deceptive!.

The whole film seemed to be centred around one sequence. That sequence being the huge explosion that occurs near the start and wipes out a vast area of Chicago, nuclear in appearance. Now this was back in the days when CGI was still a newish weapon and big flashy destructive sequences like this were looked upon as impressive and breaking the barrier.

Looking back it is a nice effect but of course its dated and the cracks are showing, but I'm not gonna moan about that. The problem is the rest of the film is really quite dull, visuals are dull, action is dull and the acting is even dull despite a very good cast line up. Reeves is his usual monotone self, Weisz is a complete drip and Freeman now looks pretty cliche in his natty Malcolm X looking 90's suit and hat.

It really does feel like they wanted to show off their CGI destruction sequence so they made an entire film around that one moment. A completely by the numbers action thriller (if you can call it that) that covers every aspect you'd expect from the 'fugitive chase movie book'. Bland, boring, so very very predictable and the films title is one of those meaningless but cool looking/sounding types.
November 24, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

Reaction Time 8-4-96

Saw it again! Good movie! Anyone want to venture a guess that Keanu Reeves was sorry he passed up Speed 2 to make this turkey? Despite the fact that it is instantly forgettable, CHAIN REACTION is a fairly decent sci-fi actioneer. The writers deserve to be commended for their original storyline, in which a scientific team discovers a low-cost fuel source reliant only on water.The action and thrills are never first-rate, and things drag on a tad too long, but somehow, CHAIN REACTION is better than the sum of its parts. Nevertheless watch it when you have the chance, nice cast.

Eddie Kasalivich, an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, works as a technician for a scientific team that discovers an alternative, low-cost, pollution-free fuel source. When one of the chief scientists is murdered and the invention stolen, Eddie and physicist Lily Sinclair are framed for it and have to flee for their lives, with the FBI, CIA and other involved parties in close pursuit. Paul Shannon, Eddies mentor, is the director of a scientific company which - unknown to Eddie - has commercial interests in the invention. Eddie and Lily set out to find the stolen invention and hopefully clear themselves of the false charges.
July 2, 2011
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Pretty poor but saved from being awful by the great Morgan Freeman and the brilliant Rachel Weisz. Pretty much your average popcorn film.
April 19, 2010
SarahG1988

Super Reviewer

Really, really bad. I think this is honestly the worst Keanu Reeves movie in existance. It's not crazy enough to laugh at and it's just incredibly annoying. The worst part is that the cast should've made it worth watching, but they all failed miserably. Just imagine, Keanu Reeves as a Nuclear researcher. What kind of world is that?
January 10, 2010
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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