There are a number of reasons I didn’t see this when it came out in 2007 (according to IMDb). One reason would be that 2007 was the year Barbara Jean and I went to Utah, Spain, and Africa. Another reason would be the movie premiered in the UAE and then went directly to DVD in the U.S. (Wikipedia). Anyhow, it’s all about chaos, and that’s the title, Chaos. The screen shots are from Amazon Prime Video. Details are from Wikipedia. Here are the main characters:
- Jason Statham as Det. Quentin Conners
- Ryan Phillippe as Shane Dekker
- Wesley Snipes as Lorenz / Jason York
- Henry Czerny as Capt. Martin Jenkins
- Justine Waddell as Det. Teddy Calloway
- Nicholas Lea as Det. Vincent Durano
The opening sequence shows the end of a police chase on the “Pearl Street Bridge.” We later learn this is in Seattle. We see a fugitive bank robber holding a young woman hostage. The police arrive. There is gunfire.
The robber and the woman are killed, and there are repercussions.
Some time later, a gang of desperate men hold up an upstanding banking institution. There is much gunfire, a teller is murdered, the police arrive. There is a hostage standoff. Cops talk to the gang leader, “Lorenz,” by telephone. He wants disgraced cop Quentin Conners to come. Conners is reinstated and put in charge of the operation.
Lorenz sets off explosions in the bank, and all the hostages flee. The police cannot locate the robbers. They fled with the hostages.
Detective Dekker is new to the Seattle police, and command assigns him to partner with Conners. It’s a pivotal choice. Dekker is brainy to a fault. He orders that the recordings of the conversation with Lorenz be made available, and he listens. He notices something peculiar. There are references to chaos. Chaos is the name of a book about chaos theory by James Gleick. Chaos theory holds that seemingly turbulent systems can reveal patterns.
The cops identify one of the robbers and shoot it out with him in his apartment. He escapes. Dekker commandeers a motorcycle and gives chase. He crashes, but Conners corners the crook, and they haul him in. Conners develops new respect for his rookie partner.
Lots of stuff happens, which I will not recap, but as Conners and Dekker hunt down the perpetrators one by one, somebody seems to be one step ahead of them, killing their suspects. They stake out a house where they figure Lorenz is scheduled to meet up with the rest of the gang. Something spooks the crooks, and there is a massive fire fight inside the house. It ends when a time bomb destroys the house, and Conners’ body is carried off in the coroner’s van.
But Dekker keeps on the trail. The police trace Lorenz to a diner by the waterfront, and there is another hostage standoff. This one ends differently. The woman escapes, and Dekker chases Lorenz to the docks and kills him in a shootout. Lorenz turns out to be Conners’ partner at the Pearl Street Bridge debacle.
The whole robbery caper turns out to have been a ruse to give Lorenz time to compromise the bank’s data systems, allowing him to siphon off a billion dollars in small transactions while police are wasting their time running down bank robbers. The operation was financed by a haul of nearly a million dollars stolen from the police evidence room.
The waitress Dekker rescued refuses to take his money for his meal, and he starts to put the bill back in his pocket. It has been scented. The scent is the one the cops used to mark the bills in the evidence room stash. It is a bill that Dekker picked up after Conners placed it on a lunch table earlier. Conners had some of the stolen money. On a bookshelf in Conners’ office at his home is a copy of the Gleick book.
Conners was not killed in the house explosion, another ruse. He is on the loose, and Dekker gives chase. But not in time. We see Conners leaving the country in a private jet.
The plot moves quickly, and there is ample suspense and intrigue to keep viewers engaged for 106 minutes. Obvious failures include the odd police work depicted.
Explosions shatter the bank windows, and hostages run out. The police are not prepared, and the robbers escape. This is the oldest trick in the book. Actually, it’s the second oldest. The oldest is “Oh, look. Your shoe is untied.”
Time after time the investigating team arrives to apprehend a suspect, and time after time there is inadequate backup. People, these are desperate men, who kill without compassion. And the cops think they are going to put a gun in the perp’s face and haul him in?
Multiple times the police pursue armed suspects into a house/apartment, and there is a blazing gun battle. Absolutely not. Watch some real police action on TV. A disgruntled retiree holes up in a house, and he may or may not have a gun. The police do not go charging in. This is how you get people killed. When you start stalking an armed perp room to room, there is a 50-50 chance you are going to be the one who gets shot.
Look at that final hostage scene above. Lorenz has a gun to the woman’s head. The police dare not shoot. The gun might go off when their bullets hit the perp. But wait. We see him pointing the gun at the cops (actually at the camera). Now is the time to shoot, guys. Isn’t this on page two of “Hostage Situations 101?”