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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » CHAIN REACTION
CHAIN REACTION
Fox
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Review by Chuck Arrington | posted June 8, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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CHAIN REACTION

Synopsis:

A student machinist finds himself caught in a maze of secret government cover-ups, hi-tech espionage and murder after working on a ground breaking scientific experiment. Eddie Kasalavich (Keanue Reaves) and Lily Sinclair (Rachel Weisz) are part of a team of scientists who have developed a revolutionary new source of energy. But no sooner have they finished celebrating the triumph of their accomplishments, their lab is destroyed, their project leader is murdered and several members of the team have disappeared. With Lily and Eddie the only remaining team members, the focus of the investigation slowly turns them into the prime suspects for the crimes at hand. The only hope they have of exonerating themselves and staying alive is found in the person of a powerful yet, mysterious beaurocrat who may or may not have their best interests at heart. Chain Reaction is a very suspenseful thriller that starts the ball of action and intrigue rolling and doesn't stop until the credits roll. Keanu Reaves as a scientist is a bit of a stretch but, Morgan Freeman's role and Brian Cox's villainy more than make up for the believability factor. Chain Reaction was something of a sleeper. No one really knew about it and it went to video really quickly. No doubt the studio's attempt to make up for lost receipts at the box office. But make no mistake; Chain Reaction is a great movie that deserves to be seen. Fox went and issued this edition with a DTS track as well as a trailer and TV spots. No too mention an Anamorphic transfer as well. Mind you, in the way of "bonus materials' or "Special features", this doesn't even register. However, for what it is, it's a very entertaining film with an excellent audio/video package that certainly will not disappoint.

Audio/Video:

As previously identified, a DTS track is included with the DD5.1. Usually, I defer to the DTS track as it has an expanded range that punches the listening space with an incredible amount of information. However on Chain Reaction, I felt that the DD5.1 while not as loud was the better format. Chapter Five contains an incredible explosion that failed to deliver the goods on the DTS track but effectively moved the house on the DD5.1 track. I also noticed a bit of clipping on that same chapter in the left rear. It was not there on the DD5.1, but was clearly there on the DTS track. On both tracks, the dialogue was clean and easily understood. The surround effects were plentiful during the explosions and fight scenes but pretty non-existent throughout the body of the film. Visually, the image is crystal clear and perfect. There were no imperfections that were noted. Strikingly beautiful in every detail. The blacks were deep and true; the colors had good saturation levels and were bright and accurate as well.

Extras:

The extras are limited to the film's trailer and three TV spots.

Overall:

I really dug this film the first time I saw it and have been waiting for its DVD debut for quite some time. While I would have preferred more extras than were presented, I am glad that the film was given a first class audio/visual treatment in the way of an artifact free-reference quality anamorphic widescreen transfer and pretty stunning audio treatment in the way of both DD5.1 and DTS tracks. For fans of the film, this is what we've been waiting for…almost. For the casual observer, it's a great film that works on every level and will easily entertain you from start to finish. Recommended

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