Chain Reaction

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

The discovery of a new power source is the starting point for this action-thriller from the director of "The Fugitive," and the story shares some similarities to that box office blockbuster. Eddie Kasalivich (Keanu Reeves) is a student machinist working on a research team that's trying to extract clean, limitless energy from water. Eddie's contribution is an important piece of information that makes the experiment a success. The project leader wants to share this breakthrough with the whole scientific community, but sinister forces are not too eager to see this happen. The scientist and his laboratory are destroyed in an incredible hydrogen explosion, and Eddie discovers that he and scientist Lily Sinclair (Rachel Weisz) are being framed for the crime. The rest of the film has Eddie and Lily evading various pursuers as they try to determine the heroes and villains in this plot. Paul Shannon (Morgan Freeman), the head of the organization funding the energy project, has a mysterious interest in Eddie's whereabouts, while Fred Ward provides some humor and tension as a determined FBI agent tracking down the fugitives. The special effects on the hydrogen explosion, which levels six city blocks, are impressive. There's a lot of running by Reeves in CHAIN REACTION, including an exciting sequence on Chicago's Michigan Avenue bridge. While the story could have used a little more ingenuity from Reeves and his pretty partner when the action settles down, it's still pretty thrilling.

CHAIN REACTION avoids many of the common faults of movies in the action-thriller genre. There is no nudity or sexual situations, as the script even avoids any romantic subplot involving Reeves' noble hero and his attractive co-star. Moderate violence, including some shootings and fisticuffs, is mostly necessary for the plot and is all handled tastefully and without any blood. But we still can't give the film a whole-hearted endorsement because of some language problems. The many profanities are quite troublesome, especially since it's most often FBI agents who are using God's name in vain. There are also several instances of crude language and four obscenities. That's particularly disappointing for an otherwise well-made film.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Twentieth Century Fox, Box 900, Beverly Hills, CA 90213

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 10, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Few (4) times - S-word

Profanity: Many (13) times - Regular 7 (JC 3, J 2, G 1, GD 1), Exclamatory 6

Violence: Many times - Moderate (man shown suffocated; huge explosion; men shot; fisticuffs; gunfire; man struck by falling scaffold; woman punched; man engulfed by fiery explosion)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Smoking, alcohol drinking


Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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