Bullet Points: The Chaos Factor
There are many factors to consider when selecting a movie to watch.
Genre is always an important factor. Action movies will always be my go to genre, so if I was presented the opportunity to watch an action flick or a psychological thriller, the action movie is more than likely going to be my choice.
Cover art is another important factor. I have skipped my share of movies with piss poor cover art. Of course I’ve also been suckered in to watching a horrible movie because the cover looked cool, R.O.T.O.R. would be a prime example.
While not as large of a factor as genre or cover art, the title of a movie can often tip the scales one way or another for a movie. A catchy or clever title will have better odds than some generic movie title that sounds like it was produced by some sort of computerized movie title generator.
So why did I choose to watch 2000’s The Chaos Factor? It is from my beloved action genre, BUT it does feature a generic movie title and the cover art leaves a lot to be desired.
I have yet to mention that the biggest factor I often use when deciding to watch a movie or not is the cast. When I saw Fred Ward (Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins) was in The Chaos Factor all the other factors suddenly did not matter, I knew I was going to watch The Chaos Factor. And watch it I did…
- Prologue: The setting CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The year is 1972. CIA agent John Vanhorn and Max Camden, the commanding officer assigned to a medical camp in Cambodia known as Camp Blue, are discussing the fate of Camden’s Camp Blue. Vanhorn learns of some of the unspeakable things that have gone on at the camp under Camden’s watch, but before Vanhorn can report to his superiors, Camden assures him he will make all of this go away… and he does, Camden returns to Cambodia and burns the camp down to the ground, even with Vietnamese prisoners and American soldiers still occupying the camp! He then orders an airstrike to further make Camp Blue an ugly part of history.
- 25 Years Later: Captain Jack Poynt (Antonio Sabato Jr.) is an Army Intelligence Officer who is in Cambodia assisting with a demo excavation project. While the team is digging up landmines, they find evidence of the existence of Camp Blue including the human remains of American soldiers and a diary that was kept by one of the soldiers who was stationed there. The diary has detailed accounts what happened there and the man who ordered the slaughter of Vietnamese prisoners and personally killed one female soldier who questioned the genocide he was perpetrating… Max Camden. Camden (Fred Ward) is now the National Security Advisor and John Vanhorn is now the Secretary of Defense… the two are gearing up for a summit meeting with the Chinese Defense Minister to help ease the rising tensions between the United States and China. So the last thing Camden needs is for a do gooder like Jack Poynt to go public with his Camp Blue findings.
- Abuse of Power: Max Camden plans on using all the resources available to him to put Jack Poynt on ice and gain possession of the damning diary. Camden’s assigns his right hand man Jay (Sean Kanan of The Karate Kid Part III fame) to lead the charge against Jack Poynt. Jay’s pursuit of Poynt brings the movie two of its biggest action sequences as The Chaos Factor doubles down with two different car chases. At one point Jay appears to have accomplished his goal when he and his team abduct Jack Poynt before he can make a deal to share the sensational Camp Blue story to a news outlet. But before our hero Jack Poynt can get crushed to death, he gets some help from a mysterious woman named Kim (Susie Park). Kim has been hired by the Chinese government who have long suspected that Max Camden has been the one stirring up shit between the United States and China. The diary that Jack Poynt has would help the Chinese government prove that Camden has a huge issue with Asians and is purposely trying to start a war between the United States and China.
The summit meeting between the United States and China serves as the backdrop for the movie’s grand finale and it provides the opportunity for the four main characters in the movie to shine.
Fred Ward as Max Camden was easily the most valuable player in The Chaos Factor from Camden’s first appearance until his rooftop showdown with Captain Jack Poynt, he stole the show.
We are also treated to some Susie Parks/Sean Kanan martial arts action. I really enjoyed Kanan as Jay. Kanan is a natural born heel that absolutely excels at playing the bad boy on screen. And the pleasant surprise of the movie was Susie Parks as Kim… a strong female character who provided the wow factor more than once.
After factoring in all the factors that led to my decision to watch The Chaos Factor I have to say I don’t regret the decision and you won’t regret taking a few more moments out of your day to read these Bonus Bullet Points…
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Antonio Sabato Jr. save a young soccer enthusiast from being blown up by a land mine, then this is the movie for you.
- Familiar Faces: R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket and Chain of Command) plays Col. Ben Wilder, the only other man who walked away from Camp Blue with Max Camden. Wilder has vowed to take the secrets of Camp Blue to the grave and to his credit he keeps that vow in spectacular fashion… Action fans may also recognize Dana Lee, who plays the Chinese Defense Minister Lem Sho Pang, from such movies as Rambo: First Blood Part II and Lethal Weapon 4.
- Racially Insensitive Quote: “You’re a tough little cookie. When I crack you open I wonder what my fortune is going to say?” – Jay
- Stock Car Racing: The nighttime car chase with Camden’s men pursuing Jack and Jodi by car and helicopter features stock footage from the movie Species. The daytime car chase with Jay pursuing Jack and Kim features stock footage from the Steven Seagal movie Marked for Death.
- 60 Minutes: With an hour to kill before they have to make their way to the summit meeting and find themselves in a do or die scenario, Jack and Kim decide to take their new found partnership to the next level and fornicate.
- If You Ever: …wanted to see a senior citizen’s walker used as a weapon in a fight, then this is the movie for you.