Chain Reaction 1996

Chain Reaction

Critics Consensus

Ironic given the scientific breakthrough at the story's core, Chain Reaction is a man-on-the-run thriller that mostly sticks to generic formula.

18%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 33

27%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 52,509

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Movie Info

At a Chicago university, a research team that includes brilliant Eddie Kasalivich (Keanu Reeves) experiences a breakthrough: a stable form of fusion that may lead to a waste-free energy source. However, Dr. Paul Shannon (Morgan Freeman) has ties to a private company that wants to exploit the technology, so Kasalivich and Dr. Lily Sinclair (Rachel Weisz) are framed for murder, and the fusion device is stolen. On the run from the FBI, they must recover the technology and exonerate themselves.

Cast & Crew

Keanu Reeves
Eddie Kasalivich
Morgan Freeman
Paul Shannon
Rachel Weisz
Dr. Lily Sinclair
Fred Ward
FBI Agent Leon Ford
Kevin Dunn
FBI Agent Doyle
Brian Cox
Lyman Earl Collier
Joanna Cassidy
Maggie McDermott
Chelcie Ross
Ed Rafferty
Nicholas Rudall
Dr. Alistair Barkley
Tzi Ma
Lu Chen
Erwin Stoff
Executive Producer
Richard D. Zanuck
Executive Producer
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Critic Reviews for Chain Reaction

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (27)

Audience Reviews for Chain Reaction

  • Nov 24, 2012
    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 cliched 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 totally meaningless but cool sounding types that looks even cooler with a striking font.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 10, 2010
    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?
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 14, 2009
    Shocked to see Morgan Freeman in such an impressive movie, wow..
    Jason O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2008
    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.
    Manu G Super Reviewer

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