CHAOS THEORY (Marcos Siega) 85 minutes. Opens Friday (April 11). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: N
Ryan Reynolds is an affable, engaging actor with genuine screen presence, and if he ever starts reading scripts before agreeing to star in them, well, that would be nice.
Chaos Theory casts Reynolds as Frank Allen, an efficiency expert who’s a little on the compulsive side. He likes to make lists to order his day. But when he’s off by just a few minutes one morning, a cascade of events is set in motion that sends his happy, comfortable universe spiralling out of control.
Before we know it, Frank is mistaken for an adulterer and a baby daddy, rejected by his wife (Emily Mortimer) and plotting to kill his best friend (Stuart Townsend) over the paternity of his daughter (Matreya Fedor). He’s still making lists, but now they say stuff like “Buy shotgun” and “Kill Buddy.”
If you’re thinking “wacky farce,” think again. Reynolds and his co-stars clearly think they’re making a straight drama and deliver straight performances that would, in a better film, be quite moving.
Not here, though, because of director Marcos Siega’s stunning incompetence. He undermines serious moments with inappropriate music, lets scenes ramble on pointlessly and employs a framing sequence that makes no sense whatsoever.
Also, Event Cascade would have been a much better title. But then people would come in expecting a different kind of disaster.