Yes, Tom Holland does have one of the most popular movies streaming but it has nothing to do with Spider-Man.
Chaos Walking is a dystopian action film starring Tom Holland as Todd, a young man who lives on New World, a planet filled with only men. The men on this planet have been afflicted with something called the Noise, a condition that allows them to see and hear each other’s thoughts.
You can check out the Chaos Walking trailer below.
Colonists of New World were involved in a civil war with the planet’s natives called The Spackle. This war killed off all the females and half the males. Holland’s Todd lives on the planet with his adoptive fathers Ben Moore (Demián Bichir) and Cillian Boyd (Kurt Sutter). Others on the planet are Mayor Dave Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen) and his son Davy (Nick Jonas).
For the entirety of Todd’s life, he was raised thinking the Spackle had released a germ that wiped out all the women on the planet and inflicted the men with the Noise. One day while working, Todd watches on as someone is stealing. He chases the thief into the swamp and as he does, he comes across a spaceship crash site.
When Todd returns to town, he tries to keep the spaceship from others, but they can see his thoughts. The townsmen head to the site where they take parts from the ship but find no survivors. While Todd is alone, he is shocked to find Viola (Daisy Ridley), the lone survivor and a female. Todd’s never seen a female before.
Since Todd can’t keep a secret, Viola is captured by the men. Prentiss questions Viola while also sharing with her the history of the women on New World. As Prentiss leaves to talk to the other men, he has Davy keep an eye on Viola, but Davy unwittingly allows Viola to escape after he toys with a gadget that had been found on Viola. Meanwhile, Ben tells Todd about a secret settlement called Farbranch and that Viola will be safe there.
Todd eventually catches up with Viola and they begin the long trek to Farbranch. As they run, they are being pursued by Prentiss, his son Davy and a group of men who are trying desperately to stop Viola, and especially Todd, from reaching the secret settlement.
What is this secret settlement that Prentiss doesn’t want Todd to find? Does it hold secrets to their past? Does it hold answers to their future?
Chaos Walking is based on the trilogy of young adult novels by author Patrick Ness. The story follows the first book in the series, The Knife of Never Letting Go. Lionsgate served up $100 million to director Doug Liman to bring Chaos Walking to the screen and perhaps it was the remnants of the COVID pandemic or an all-around crappy script that caused the box office to see only $21 million in return.
Perhaps “crappy” is a poor way to describe what Patrick Ness and Christopher Ford penned. The film, it should be noted, first went into pre-production back in 2011 when the novel was purchased by Lionsgate. Since that time, the script went through many iterations. Charlie Kaufmann took the first swipe at it and was then followed by the likes of Jamie Linden, Lindsey Beer, Gary Spinelli, John Lee Hancock, Christopher Ford, and finally Patrick Ness.
Critically speaking, the consensus says Chaos Walking leans more towards chaos than anything else. Kevin Maher of the UK Times says of the film, “This device, of course, worked on paper, in the source novel, The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness. But it’s appalling on film.” Robbie Collin from the Daily Telegraph explains that Holland and Ridley’s relationship is a poor match, “Holland and Ridley have all the rapport of two tree trunks, and the deeper dramatic and comedic possibilities of the one-way torrent of intimate thoughts between them goes bafflingly unexplored.”
With all the bad critical publicity, there must be something attractive about the film since it is one of the most popular streaming and it sits at the 71% audience favorable scale on Rotten Tomatoes.
As for Tom Holland, this is just one film being used as a buffer before fans get to see him one more time as Spider-Man. After making his feature film debut back in 2012 in The Impossible, a story about a family trying to survive and find each other after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Holland then went on to How I Live Now and In the Heart of the Sea before snagging the plum role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War.
Tom Holland’s popular portrayal of the web-slinging hero has opened many avenues for the young actor. On top of his many Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances, Holland has tried to step out of Spider-Man’s web by taking on more mature projects. The Devil All the Time and Cherry, along with Chaos Walking represent Holland’s growing choices. Of course, Spider-Man: No Way Home lurks in shadows to be followed by another highly anticipated film, Uncharted. In it, Holland will play a young Nathan Drake, the popular character from the Uncharted series of video games.