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The Jason Statham Thriller Flop Getting A Second Chance On Netflix

When it comes to modern-day action stars, a few names always have to enter the mix. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson follows in the long, storied tradition of larger-than-life figures. Honestly, anyone who's been in a "Fast & Furious" movie falls into that category, and that goes double with one of the hardest working men in Hollywood — Jason Statham.

Throughout the 21st century, he's starred in some of the most critically-acclaimed heist and action flicks, such as "The Italian Job," "Crank," and "War." When you walk into a Statham movie, you know exactly what you're getting, but not every film can be a hit. Others fall off the radar, but older movies have managed to find a second life thanks to the glut of streaming services as of late. That's the case for the underrated Statham movie "Chaos," which is now making waves on Netflix.

The movie only grossed $7 million globally during its run, but now's your chance of seeing what you missed 16 years ago. See why the film has broken into the platform's Top 10 Movies, especially if you're a fan of Statham's other works.

Chaos takes you on a wild ride

Statham plays a veteran detective named Quentin Conners who is reprimanded and then quickly reinstated onto the force when a group of criminals takes hostages in a bank. He's teamed up with rookie cop Shane Dekker (Ryan Phillippe), and things take a turn for the worse when they discover the thieves uploaded a computer virus into the bank's systems capable of random evolution. The virus follows the principles of chaos theory, which is where the film gets its name, so it's a race against the clock for the officers to figure out a way to stop the attack.

You'd be forgiven for missing the film when it first came out. It didn't receive a theatrical release in the United States, going straight-to-video instead. That's a bit of a surprise, considering that Statham's star was on the rise in the early 2000s thanks to his appearances in movies like "The Transporter" series and "The Italian Job." And that's not even to mention the fact that Phillippe and Wesley Snipes, themselves well-known actors at the time, co-star in the movie. The few critics that did review "Chaos" were mostly underwhelmed, but that only paints half of a picture in regard to how the film has been received over the years.

Professional critics mostly didn't love Chaos...

As "Chaos" didn't get a theatrical release in the US, it also doesn't appear that many critics even took note of it when it first came out back in 2005. The ones that did weren't exactly huge fans of what they saw.

Writing for Reel Film, David Nusair gave the film two stars out of five and complained that the movie's occasional moments of strong action filmmaking were otherwise "bogged down with an overwrought and overplayed sensibility that proves disastrous." Nusair said the movie lacked originality and concluded, "The equally impressive performances ensure that boredom never entirely sets in, though it's awfully difficult to look past the almost laughably inept instances of plotting within Giglio's screenplay ..."

Similarly, Sloan Freer of RadioTimes criticized the movie's script, writing that the film "strives for 'clever and edgy' but achieves neither, sealing the film's banality with a disappointing climax and contrived final twist." They also said Statham's performance was "nonchalant" and called the film a "pedestrian crime thriller."

The film did have its defenders, though. Rodney Twelftree of Fernby Films enjoyed Statham's performance and noted "it's got some delightfully done set-pieces ..." They concluded their review by writing, "While I wasn't expecting a whole lot, what I got was thoroughly enjoyable and most definitely a film worth watching."

So, all in all, a pretty mixed-to-negative response from critics. When it comes to audience reactions, though, it looks like Twelftree's assessment of the film is more in line with how your average movie-goer felt after watching.

...but audiences think it's a fun watch

With a movie like "Chaos," critical reception should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, not everyone is tuning into a Statham headliner for strong characters and an intricate plot. And for movie fans who left reviews on IMDB, the consensus seems to be that "Chaos" is, all in all, a fun watch.

User The_Void began their review by acknowledging, "All the signs were pointing to this being a bad movie." Despite some criticism, though, they ultimately concluded "it is fun to watch and the film does present [an] intriguing mystery with a few surprising twists along the way."

GirishGowda also had a fun time with "Chaos" despite their nitpicks. They loved the movie's "twists and turns" and while they did take issue with some of the character choices, they ultimately said, "But for a popcorn thriller, this was quite entertaining. Any film with Statham in it is always worth a watch."

And Enchorde even came out of the movie feeling that it got a raw deal distribution-wise "given the cast and quality of the movie." They praised the performances of Statham, Snipes, and Phillippe and said of the film overall, "The story is good to with some nice actions scenes, explosions and a car chase ... it was a good 90 minutes of quality entertainment... "

With the movie currently killing it on Netflix, it looks like audiences are in agreement that "Chaos" is one forgotten gem that's worth checking out.