Chain Reaction [1996]

Anyone want to venture a guess that Keanu Reeves was sorry he passed up Speed 2 to make this turkey? Both a ridiculous suspense piece about a renegade intelligence community and an ill-considered hunk of do-gooder agitprop about alternative energy technology, Chain Reaction makes Reeves and almost everyone else involved look about as dumb as dumb can be. Hollywood's own Little Buddha plays a streetwise lab technician who survives an organized assault on his hydrogen-power project. The FBI assumes he's really a spy working for some foreign power, but the truth is that a CIA offshoot is behind the project's funding. Morgan Freeman plays the ramrod-straight company man who sabotages Keanu's excellent experiment, and Rachel Weisz portrays a physicist who goes on the run with the alleged saboteur. Directed by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive), who seems more interested in seeing how many absurd places he can mount a chase scene than offering a solid clue as to who these characters are and why we should care about them. --Tom Keogh

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