The Chain Reaction (Nuclear Run) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Chain Reaction (Nuclear Run) Reviews

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½ January 6, 2019
It was so awful I couldn't make it past the first few minutes. It looked like 1950's filming.
September 1, 2018
a paranoid story about a nuclear accident
April 16, 2014
Nothing spectacular, seems like a few good ideas were shoehorned into some standard car chase tropes and corporate villain stuff. Surprising amount of full frontal nudity too.
½ October 27, 2012
Several folks from Mad Max turn up in this film about a dying atomic power plant worker from a radioactive waste leak who is pursued by plant officials to ensure they can cover up the toxic spill. The Aussies sure know how to do car chases.
January 28, 2012
One reason to watch this obscure Australian production is its oddity factor. This is the sort of movie you don't get to see often on TV, mainly because there never was a marketable DVD version available (until now, combined with a few other obscure productions). The theme reminded me of The Andromeda Strain (1971) and the plot and setting of The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972), both much better movies than The Chain Reaction, by the way. The nuclear accident and ensuing cover-up make for a nice story with plenty of innocent victims, rampant (escape) action and immoral creeps at the top (speaking with a British accent). The director has made a nice attempt mixing action scenes with tranquil scenes at the lakeside (with the female main character nursing the crucial whistleblower, who happens to be suffering from memory loss), but frankly, I soon got bored with the infantile trips down memory lane. The movie soon began to drag on and on without anything substantial going on. And what went on was not always very clear, probably due to poor editing (or direction, for that matter). The function of the guy who was phoned by Heinrich (the amnesiac) remained unclear to me till the end (and, again, why the put-on posh accent - do you want us to take this movie seriously at all?). No, this movie may be conveying an important social message (beware of the dangers of nuclear waste, and of those who want to cover up the consequences once the shit has hit the fan), and may be trying to present its viewers with an entertaining, edge-of-your-seat thriller, but fact is that it just doesn't work. On the plus side: nice early eighties musical score.
January 24, 2012
Weak Australian sci-fi exploitation film that barely gets over the supposed hurdle of its own premise. Easily interpreted as a prequel to the much more popular Mad Max, this film bounds backwards and forwards without any real progression for much of its duration.
June 10, 2011
A few nonsensical moments, but rises above the average ozploitation.
½ March 16, 2011
Fun, quirky Aussie suspense/action/conspiracy/nuclear disaster thriller. Includes at least four familiar faces from the original Mad Max.
January 17, 2011
The nuclear boogeyman re-emerges in this Aussie film as a radioactive spill contaminates the water supply threatening a catastrophic chain reaction through the food chain. One employee attempts to break rank amidst a coverup.
½ November 17, 2010
I have a love for the obscure so I hungrily hunt down DVDs and VHS tapes of forgotten pictures and more often then not the films come out bad or to put more kindly, well below average. Every now and again a film surprises me like this forgotten Australian, or "Ozploitation" film. I went into the movie thinking it was going to be some typical disaster cover-up flick and for the most part it still is but it's a dial above the rest of similar natured films. What really surprised me is that that "Mad Max" trilogy director George Miller popped up in the opening credits as producer. This is the guy that created my all time favorite trilogy (well "Mad Max" and "The Road Warrior", I can give or take "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome") so I knew he wouldn't attach his name to a film that would be complete shit. To top it off some of the actors and crew members from "Mad Max" worked on this film. For that alone it made this picture an interesting watch.

The film opens with a nuclear plant technician getting dosed with a lethal dose of radioactive water when a spill occurs at the plant. When he learns that the company is going to cover-up the accident even though innocent people in a neighboring town will be affected, he decides to escape and shows up on the door step of a mechanic and his wife. Soon guys in white hazmat suits appear, willing to kill anyone to keep them silent.

Some of actors that appeared in "Mad Max" are here most notably Steve Bisley who played Mel Gibson's partner Goose. Like goose, he plays basically the same character that is tough with a good sense of humor. Hell even Mel Gibson makes a quick appearance as a mechanic. Don't blink or you'll miss him! The acting is solid helping out the clichà (C) script.

New comer Ian Barry is listed as the director but I wouldn't be surprised if George Miller took the reins from him a few times as this movie feels like "Mad Max" with its gritty style and emphasis on some great car chases. These chases are rousing with the director giving us true high speed pursuits and some nice shots of cameras by the tires.

I did crave more from the contamination plot as it really only affects our mechanic lead and his wife. I would have loved to see the contamination affect an entire town as opposed to a young couple but that might have been to big of scope for the small budget. The film also tends to focus on action sacrificing every other aspect so the audience doesn't get emotionally connected to our couple and the hell that has come down upon them. The ending is also a little hastily tied up but the ride was entertaining getting there.

"The Chain Reaction" is a little bit of George Romero's "The Crazies" and George Miller's "Mad Max" mixed together with a nuclear accident plot. Some fans even consider this a pseudo "prequel" to "Mad Max" which is an interesting point of view. Nothing groundbreaking but definitely worth a watch if you can hunt this rare film down. Considering it being a George Miller production I'm surprised this isn't more readily available, especially in a good quality DVD release. God forbid do not get this film confused with the 1996 Keanu Reeves yawnfest also entitled "Chain Reaction."
½ May 5, 2010
Several folks from Mad Max turn up in this film about a dying atomic power plant worker from a radioactive waste leak who is pursued by plant officials to ensure they can cover up the toxic spill. The Aussies sure know how to do car chases.
½ November 16, 2009
Unlike the other review would make out, this is not the Keanu Reeves film but a 1980 Australian "Ozploitation" flick. It starts many of the supporting cast members of the original "Max Max" film (with Mad Max's Goose in the lead) and if you look fast, you can see a bearded Mel Gibson as a mechanic. The story is only okay, but the real treat here is the car chases. George Miller, director of the Mad Max trilogy, did second unit work on this film and the muscle car chases look very similar to the car action sequences in "Mad Max" and "The Road Warrior". The car scenes make this film totally worth watching.
September 23, 2009
Surprisingly boring anti-nuke drama, with great contrivances made to include what turns out to be a tiny amount of actual stunt action. Jim Goose, The Toecutter, and Johnny the Boy are in it, (blink and you'll miss the latter). Though Keays-Byrne character is very dull and does not turn up until late. Only recommended for those eager to see a lot more of the Beez, as he drops trou early and often.
½ February 12, 2009
Above average Ozploitation "nuclear meance" flick with a great cast and some watchably surreal moments.
February 7, 2009
A really cool car chase sequence in the bush, and an incredible cast "before they were famous" in Australia.
½ January 15, 2009
Australia's attempt to make our own "China Syndrome," I think. It's vaguely amusing...
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