96 user 45 critic

Chain Reaction (1996)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | 2 August 1996 (USA)
2:26 | Trailer

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Two researchers in a green alternative energy project are put on the run when they are framed for murder and treason.



(story) (as Arne L. Schmidt), (story) | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie McDermott
Ed Rafferty
Nicholas Rudall ...
Dr. Alistair Barkley
Lu Chen
Lucasz Screbneski
Emily Pearl (as Julie R. Pearl)
Chidi Egbuna
Gene Barge ...
James Washington
Nathan Davis ...
Morris Grodsky


Eddie Kasalivich, an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, works as a technician for a scientific team that discovers an alternative, low-cost, pollution-free fuel source. When one of the chief scientists is murdered and the invention stolen, Eddie and physicist Lily Sinclair are framed for it and have to flee for their lives, with the FBI, CIA and other involved parties in close pursuit. Paul Shannon, Eddies mentor, is the director of a scientific company which - unknown to Eddie - has commercial interests in the invention. Eddie and Lily set out to find the stolen invention and hopefully clear themselves of the false charges. Written by The Ramp Runner

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Reaction Time 8-4-96

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense action/violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Drop  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,546,000 (USA) (2 August 1996)


$20,550,712 (USA) (27 September 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed almost exclusively in the winter of 1995 and early 1996 in Chicago, the hometown of director Andrew Davis, where his other films Code of Silence (1985), Above the Law (1988), The Package (1989), and The Fugitive (1993) were also filmed. See more »


When Shannon leaves his house for the meeting at C-Systems, he leaves in a Cadillac Fleetwood Sedan. When he arrives at the meeting, he arrives in a Lincoln Town Car. See more »


FBI Agent Ford: Ma'am, we just had eight city blocks disappear. The President of the United States talked to my boss at three this morning, he wants answers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the end credits come to the end, the music fades out and a rumble gets louder and louder. This is the start of a shockwave resulting from the massive explosion at the end of the film. The viewpoint is of Keanu Reeves who by now is in a helicopter and comes straight on screen after the last of the credits has gone up. The ground implodes briefly and you hear Agent Ford say "Whoa!". See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


One Love
Written by Bob Marley
Performed by Rachel Weisz
See more »

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User Reviews

... or "Run Keanu Run!"
20 December 2009 | by (Philippines) – See all my reviews

My Take: A formulaic action movie with some impressive set pieces marred by lackluster writing.

Student machinist Keanu Reeves is framed for murder and sabotage of a research laboratory he works in, and is forced to run for his life while trying to prove his innocence. This is not another sequel to THE FUGITIVE, it's actually CHAIN REACTION; a techno chase-thriller from director Andrew Davis, who also directed THE FUGITIVE. Like in that superior film, Davis displays his skills at staging perfectly exciting yet quite plausible action sequences. Unfortunately, the script this time is built around the action, rather than vice versa.

The film's plot, about the discovery of water as a main component for creating a cheaper source of energy, is almost abandoned for most of the film in favor of a fairly ordinary chase thriller that has Reeves running from the FBI after being suspected for sabotage, being the only person alive after the explosion of the lab. And boy does he run! The chase moves from jumping from a bridge to chases in snowmobiles or helicopters. In fairness, Davis stages action very well and the stunts here are just what we expect from the man who perfectly staged the train wreck scene in THE FUGITIVE. Unfortunately, the movie stops being thrilling when it becomes a bit too predictable and rather pointless. It's just one chase after another as Reeves and companion Rachel Weisz dodges the feds for 107 minutes until they unmask the true saboteur (which, I suspect, the audience may have already found out halfway).

Morgan Freeman is pretty good in a role that demands more of him, and Reeves is once again more impressive in the action rather than in the acting. But unlike in other movies like SPEED, Reeves fails to even display charisma or exhibit any chemistry with his female co-star Weisz (or is it because their characters really just doesn't have enough time to connect?). And when it all finally comes to a close, it didn't feel quite like the end of a movie but the end of a really long chase (of chase). As cinematic junk food goes, CHAIN REACTION is harmless and watchable, but even other mindless action movies have more meat than this.

Rating: **1/2 out of 5.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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