User Reviews (12)

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  • kodiak-615 March 2005
    "Chaos Factor" - maybe not the title I would have chosen, but it really was a pretty good movie. I thought that Sabato did a good job and I really like Fred Ward too. Sabato's character was a decent guy who was destined to make the right decision at the right time. The action and stunts were good and I thought the locations were believable. His decision to do the right thing, however was predictable, rather than blindly follow military protocol and cover-up the wrongdoing of a few bad apples over 20+ years prior.

    I also liked the fact that I could watch this movie with my 10 year old son. There was very little, if any, vulgar language and the love scenes were left to the imagination which makes it easier watching was kids. Overall, I think this movie is worth the time and money!
  • The film starts out with an interesting premise but disappoints as it progresses. The situation from the Vietnam War that starts us off is compelling enough, but the story then goes off in several directions and can't decide which one it wants to develop. As other reviewers have noted, it recycles themes from several other movies and in the end almost becomes predictable from its reworking of these plots. I kept expecting to see Jon Voight (a la "Odessa File"; if you've seen it, you'll figure out why) pop out but had to settle for the mostly unknown cast. Despite this, the movie is fast paced and full of action and presents mild, if not very mindful, entertainment.
  • Cambodia during the 1970's. Max Camden is responsible for a prison camp where human rights do not exist and experiments are ruthlessly carried out. When he is ordered to destroy the camp to avoid incriminating anyone in the US Government, he misses one soldier, who escapes but dies in the subsequent bombing of the area. Over 25 years later, Jack Poynt is leading a mission to clear the same area of landmines when he discovers the remains of the camp and discovers the journal of the escapee. However Camden is now one of the top men involved in the crisis with China and Poynt must face great odds to expose him.

    I expected nothing from this film as I knew it was a video thriller at best and was on a channel best known for scooping up cheap action movies just to fill the time slot. As such this film is so-so, in other words it doesn't excel itself in any way and has all the low standards that we have come to expect from this type of film. The plot is ok at the start but spins out of control from then onwards. The significant of the modern day plot with Camden is not fully explored, the reason for Kim is iffy other than having a love interest and a babe in the film and the final twist is such an absurd coincidence to pull out that it's a wonder they bothered to make it personal!

    The action scenes trundle along ok, but often feel like they are very cheaply done and looked to the A-Team for inspiration. The plot itself provides no great tension or drama so the action scenes at least distract from the business at hand and allow us to watch cars crash every now and again.

    Sabato is a very poor leading man. He is every bit as wooden as he looks and I never once got involved with his character. The presence of Fred Ward either means his standards have fallen drastically or he just bought a new car and needed to clear the payments. He does ok but you can see in his eyes that he is just hamming because he has no material to work with. Susie Park is a nice addition, true her character adds very little other than oriental style action scenes, but she is quite pretty – just a shame the script demands her to inexplicably fall for Poynt in a matter of moments!

    Overall this is not an awful film – it is an average video thriller. It doesn't do anything to make itself stand out and has a very weak plot. All the video clichés are there – love scene, conspiracy, bad guys who can't hit a brick wall with an automatic etc, but it just about manages to keep going. Passable if you're doing something else at the same time but probably vile if you're 100% focused on it and looking for it to entertain you.
  • Too many memories of the Viet-Nam War have gone unresolved and thus the United States of America continues to pay with it's Vetrans having nightmares. This is one such painful memory, the movie is called " The Chaos Factor " and is perhaps reminiscent of the many black sins involved in the entire war. Capt. Jack Poynt (Antonio Sabato Jr.) is a military intelligent Officer who is assigned to duty in Viet-Nam. While there his primary task is to locate and destroy land minds and any other artifact which is believed to be U.S. property. What he discovers instead is a personal soldier's diary depicting a secret and covert operation in which Viet-Namese national were captured, tortured, murdered and subjected to chemical toxins. All this under the direction of one Col. Max Camden (Fred Ward) and the men of his special task force. Learning of the illegal top secret mission, Capt. Poynt seeks to bring these men to justice only to discover a whole level of the military would rather destroy him and the journal than to have it resurface in the press. R.Lee Ermey, Sean Kanan and Susie as a female assassin help to commit the cast. A good, dramatic and action pack film and one with few flaws. One easily recommended to an audience member who wants to learn of one mortal sin committed by our military. ****
  • One of my pet peeves is watching a movie where someone rips off a really good premise, like Enemy of the State, and botches it.

    Same idea: a guy (Antonio Sabato Jr.) finds a long buried secret that could destroy an extremely powerful politician and suddenly the guy is prey to the powers that be.

    Most glaringly apparent plot hole: Antonio's character is in the Army and could have been easily detained by his superiors with just one phone call from the powerful politician. Instead, the bad guy who works for the politician (and former CIA/military man, as usual), tries to blow him up, kills two of his friends and kidnaps him with the intent of torturing him for information. Luckily, he's saved by a Chinese secret agent (Susie Park in the best portrayal of a female agent in tight black leather since Charlie's Angels) and together they expose the evil plot to eradicate the Asian race.

    I liked Susie Park's character. She is a cold blooded killer (which she plainly states) and martial artist that can trade punches with the best of the bad guys and she doesn't have a problem using bondage on Antonio (ooh, hot flash). She can also take a punch in the face and, as she recovers, coolly flip her hair at her aggressor. Now that's one cool customer!

    Sorry, I just realized that I'm making this movie sound good...it isn't. There are 2 too many cars chases (if you've seen this movie you'll find that extremely funny) and the characters are one dimensional. I only have one question: who gives these people money to make this kind of garbage? They must have had one hell of a pitch-man to get this one made.

    My one word summary: Ugh!
  • This film appears to be a poor quality remake of 'The Odessa File', with fewer ideas. The main characters are unpleasant, you don't care about any of them, and what was the Chinese girl upto anyway. Not worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This was one of the last PM Entertainment movies to be made with studio founders and executive producers Joseph Merhi and Richard Pepin still around; they exited the company not long afterwards. As it turned out, they got out around the right time, because the quality of the studio product was starting to go downhill, including with this movie.

    It's not one of the worst PM Entertainment made in the years before (like "East L.A. Warriors" or "Shotgun") or the few years afterwards (like "Con Express"), but unlike the movies the studio turned out during its glory days, it feels very uninspired and mediocre. For one thing, the apparent and sudden slash to the movies' budgets is very apparent. The movie has to resort to using footage from "Rambo: First Blood Part II" and a long car chase sequence is made almost entirely from footage from the Steven Seagal movie "Marked For Death".

    The script offers nothing new, not just for the fact that a climatic plot twist is ripped off from the movie "The Odessa File". True, the script for a film like this doesn't really matter - the action scenes are the main attraction. But unlike the movies made by PM Entertainment a few years earlier, the action comes across as very generic and nothing special. You sense that everyone involved is phoning it in instead of really trying hard.

    Even die hard fans of PM Entertainment movies will most likely find this tiresome. Rewatch "Last Man Standing", "The Sweeper", "Executive Target", or "Rage" instead.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jack Poynt (Sabato Jr.) is a military man who specializes in 'demo excavation', in other words, sweeping mines out of Cambodia and saving the local villagers. Jack Poynt's life changes forever when he comes across an Army medic's diary that was written during the Vietnam War. It turns out that a fellow soldier named Maxwell Camden (Ward) committed all sorts of wartime atrocities. Now, in the present day, Camden is a big muckty-muck in the government and he will go to great lengths to stop the diary from going public - including sending his goons (one of which is Sean Kanan) out to torture and murder people. Along the way, Jack crosses paths with a ruthless, beautiful female assassin that seems like she belongs in another movie named Kim (Park). But the two will have to team up to defeat Camden and the baddies before a big arms deal goes down between China and Vietnam...and time is running out. Will Jack make his Poynt? Find out...

    The Chaos Factor is kind of a middle-of-the-road affair. On the one hand, it's a PM production, so there are plenty of car chases, explosions, shooting scenes, and a decent amount of action. It's also not overly junky in the production values department and there is some nice cinematography from Jacques Haitkin. On the other hand, it's supposed to be a serious-minded drama at other times - a governmental thriller with the haunting echoes of the Vietnam conflict infusing it all. Not that that would be a bad thing, of course, but all the drama is undercut somewhat by the odd choice to have footage from Seagal's Marked For Death (1990) all over the action scenes. Tip to filmmakers: if you're going for seriousness, don't resort to Seagal footage spliced into the movie.

    Adding insult to injury, the footage doesn't match very well. You don't have to be particularly eagle-eyed to know when we've whiplashed into suddenly watching a car chase from Marked For Death. Presumably, if you're watching the Chaos Factor, you've already seen Marked For Death - has anyone watched them the other way around? Regardless, this was the directorial debut of Terry Cunningham, so perhaps we should cut him a bit of slack, almost like you would for someone learning on the job. Thankfully, Cunningham had good people around him like Haitkin and Fred Ward who could dress things up significantly.

    We enjoyed most of the scenes with Susie Park, mainly because that's when the movie becomes out-and-out action. Sean Kanan strongly resembles James Spader, and fan favorite R. Lee Ermey is underutilized...but would you believe he was cast as an Army Colonel? I know, wonders never cease. That brings us to Sabato Jr., who is a solid leading man for these types of things...though it should be noted that (in this movie at least) he has a tramp stamp. We don't believe we've ever seen a male action hero with a lower-back tattoo before. Much like how the Seagal footage undercuts the seriousness of the movie, Sabato Jr.'s tramp stamp undercuts our confidence in him as an action hero. It starts off as Sweepers (1998), becomes Broken Arrow (1996), them becomes No Way Out (1987), then becomes Yes, Madam (1985), all with a dusting of a Steven Segal movie from ten years previous. If this sounds like something you're up for, well here it is. The DTV world in 2000 was a confusing place indeed.
  • Nimbo15 July 2000
    A total waste of time, car chase after car chase and unbelievable situations. This is a bummer. I gave it a 1 only because I could not give it a 0. In a class with Executive Power. I wish reviews were more honest. Fred Ward is growing old and Antonio Sabato, Jr. needs better material. What a waste of time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***SLIGHT SPOILERS*** Antonio was supposed to be a Army Intelligence Officer, but with the Journal that he found, he didn't make copies and put the original in a vault of some kind - just stupid.

    I just didn't believe that a trained officer would hide something so valuable - that could bring down the government and a country inside of a air conditioner in a cheap motel. Just doesn't make sense.
  • Every film student should watch "The Chaos Factor" as a study in how to take a pretty good premise, write and direct it poorly, and come away with an uneven, not very satisfying film.

    War crimes were committed in 1972 in Cambodia. The bad guys thought they covered their tracks, but a diary turns up in 1999. Then the fun and action begins. Too bad it wasn't written better.
  • Gary-16116 August 2001
    Warning: Spoilers
    *Some SPOILERS*

    Terrible disappointment? Come on chaps, that precludes really having a burning desire to watch such a film in the first place. But people do. I did, but then I'm only half a person. After viewing, not even that. It's the chaos factor, you see, it has a strange effect on you. A normal sense of rationality concerning the real world is slowly eroded leaving you feeling strangely vulnerable. This movie tells it like it is, but not necessarily in the right order. Or even the same film. And like it is, as delivered by Fred Ward with a snarl that looks like his lips have been stapled to his cheeks, is this. The Chinese are very, VERY bad people whom, if left to their own devices, may do something terrible like...like....well, we don't know, they haven't done it yet. But they MIGHT do it, so send in Fred Ward and some young, myopic thugs to stop them even THINKING about doing something Americans don't do. Or do do, but shouldn't. I lost track, it's the chaos factor.

    Yes, my friends, all this chaos can only end in one place. You guessed it, an abandoned warehouse. It's always an abandoned warehouse. Well, not totally this time, it's got presses. And in an obligatory torture scene, Fred Ward must impress upon the good guy that he really shouldn't stop him from stopping the Chinese from doing what they haven't done yet but might do, so he crushes the poor man's motorbike. Gosh, forget water torture, that's really showing him. Then he hurls some very distasteful racial abuse in our hero's face, the like of which is un-repeatable on a family film site. Actually, it's completely incomprehensible. Didn't Fred Ward used to be an actor? Perhaps the script failed to make it through the presses. Suddenly, our hero is rescued by a couple of those leather clad chicks with an uzi in both hands and a steering wheel between their teeth. There follows an impressive chase between two cars and a helicopter. My God, this actually looks competent. So competent in fact, you could say it's from another film. Sadly, the girl who is driving our hero is shot and he jumps out at the last minute while the car speeds down a cliff towards an electricity box. Now, hang on, this looks familiar. It reminds me of a scene in 'Species'. If it has been lifted whole sale from 'Species' and inserted into this film then any moment the helicopter should shoot missiles into the car. The helicopter shoots missiles into the car. So that's why (left brain clicks into gear) the heroine had short cropped blonde hair, to match up the two films. Here we see the chaos factor working again. You're not sure from one minute to the next what film your in, let alone what country. It must be a fiendish Chinese plot. They've stopped not doing and started doing or maybe not. Maybe the film makers are just a teensy bit short of cash and hoped we wouldn't notice. I did, impressive as my right brain's asleep.

    Anyway, our hero survives and meets another tasty young oriental lady who embroils him in another car chase. The trouble is, the car chase takes place in another film all together. Back and forth they cut, mostly in our film to close ups of the actors sitting in their cars with someone rocking the sides. Spare no expense! Everybody's going this way and that, maybe even backwards in a manner that can best be described as, well, chaotic.

    Things eventually calm down, possibly due to the fact that the other film was probably shorter than this one. The entire cast then decamps to a hotel where Fred Ward wants to cause trouble at a meeting between the CIA and the Chinese. At least, I think that's the plot, the left half of my brain is still stuck in the other film. Dressed rather unconvincingly as kitchen staff, the hero and heroine are attacked by bad guys in the lobby and things suddenly become slow. So sudden it looks like someone accidently hit a switch in the editing suite. It's that chaos factor again. Our heroine manages to fill the baddies with holes from two Uzi's without a drop of blood being spilt. How ironic, this is China and there's no red. One of the baddies creeps up on our heroine and orders her to put down the weapon and turn around. She kills him. She then runs up some stairs killing some more bad guys before finding herself in the same professionally embarrassing situation as before. "Put down your weapon and turn around." Why not just shoot her? It's that chaos factor again. When in doubt, drop your IQ through your left trouser leg.

    Then, just when you think things can't get anymore chaotic, what with foreigners running around doing what they weren't supposed to be doing followed by a lot of Americans not even sure what film they're in, let alone having the time to stop them from doing anymore of what they weren't supposed to be doing, things stop being chaotic and start getting static. Fred Ward and the hero stand still on the hotel roof and actually have a conversation. I would dearly love to quote it in full, as it is without doubt the most gob-smacking sequence of dialogue I've ever heard. It so perfectly encapsulates the state of race relations in the world today, not to mention life, the universe, politics and everything else, but the video packed up. It's the chaos factor. Even so, the writer has changed my life for the better and I want to thank him from the bottom of the my heart. What he has to say works on so many levels, none of them remotely accessible by ladder. Basically, what it comes down to is this. Men and women of different races have been doing what they are not supposed to be doing in doing something intimate with each other that produces children, one of which is the hero. Fred Ward is not pleased. After all, he's spent the whole film (and half someone else's film) telling them what not to do and blow me down if they haven't gone and done it already. His snarl has become a grimace although admittedly it's a value judgement. It seems that doing what you are not supposed to be doing can actually be pleasurable. So an American gets on to a podium at the end of the film (or films) and tells us that he's sorry he got it all wrong and by order of America it is now decreed that all those of different colours and creeds have his permission to all get along together and start doing or even thinking about doing what you originally shouldn't have been doing, but have done anyway. Also, doing it in a hotel room with someone in leather, like our hero, is even more do-able. I think the podium is actually in this film as opposed to spliced in from a fifties western so we should give the CIA a round of applause for beating the chaos factor. I guess that at the end of the day (and a very long film) there's an even bigger factor than chaos and that's schmaltz. So what are you waiting for? Start doing it.