I quote some tiny details but there's a reason you'll discover afterwards :o)
CHAOS - Synopsis
Seattle, Pearl Bridge.
Night. It's raining hard. A car comes in a rush, crushes into a van, rolls over. An Afro-American man gets out through a window and draws a white girl with him.
A pack of police cars arrive with screaming sirens, a chopper joins. Audio comments by reporters : the suspect, John Curtis, has high jacked a car after a robbery. We hear two shots. The hostage and the perp are dead.
[opening credits. Nick is one of the very first names.]
Newspapers headlines telling of what happened after the shooting: Detective Quentin Conners (Jason Statham) had been suspended but he refuses to apologize; he acted following the book and would do the same on similar occasion.
A black car stops, four guys with black bonnet and sunglasses get out, enter the "World Global Bank". Once inside they hide their face, draw out machine guns and shoot towards the ceiling. Panic. They park the hostages and clerks before anybody can ring an alarm. A security guard is stopped by one perp, he puts his gun down. The perp knocks him out and takes his keys. The chief robber (Wesley Snipes) is threatening and deadly cold. He orders a bank technician to close every issues through the computing system and is obeyed at once. Another robber installs explosives in the safe vault and have them exploding. One clerk succeeds in triggering an alarm. The perp in charge shoots him. The chief robber is unhappy, telling he should have shot him *before* he uses the alarm... He kills the hostage in cold blood.
Detective Teddy Galloway (Justine Waddell) is paged at her apartment.
Police forces gather in front of the bank. The crowd is kept at bay. SWAT is called. Detective Bernie Callo (John Cassini) is in charge. The chief robber, using a voice synthesizer, calls him on the phone. He has only one request: he wants to negotiate with Quentin Conners and nobody else.
Capt. Jenkins (Henry Czerny) and detective Shane Keller (Ryan Philippe) pay a visit to Conners. They explain the situation, he first refuses to intervene as he's suspended, remember? But he's told he's back in the Force, "just like that". He will have to work with Keller. Obviously Jenkins and Conners hate each other's guts, and Conners despises the too young Keller. Jenkins leaves and Keller remains with his new partner.
Conners arrives in front of the bank and answers very grossly to a female TV reporter. Jenkins tells Bernie Callo Conners is now in charge. Callo is mad at the news and recalls last hostage situation turned bad last time Conners was involved. Those two visibly aren't in love either! But Jenkins leaves no choice to Callo and sends him away. Jenkins gives his orders, tells SWAT Conners is the one in charge, which causes an amused comment by Detective Vincent Durano (Nick Lea) about SWAT's habits. Conners, Shane, Teddy and Vincent are now a team...
Inside the bank the robbers are busy with mysterious DIY. They use a lot of technology tools, hardware...
Vincent gives an account of the situation: who's inside, how much hostages and perps... The chief robber calls Conners, asks to be called "Lorenz", seems amazed that Conners is already on the scene as he was suspended after the Pearl Bridge case, tells him of the situation, that hostages are well but one, and that chaos needs some order. Vincent listens to the conversation, as Shane who's taking notes. Lorenz asks jokingly for the police to go away, otherwise he has no request, Conners must remain there, and it's going to be a long night. A female reporter resumes the situation.
Inside the bank, more work going on.
Conners is sucking on Nicorettes, Teddy wonders what the robbers are at, Vincent supposes they're wasting time... Conners agrees and Vincent thinks the perps didn't expect Conners to be in charge so soon. But why are they buying time, waiting for sunrise? Conners asks for the SWAT commander and Vince leaves to find him. Conners confides his thoughts to Teddy, there's already one hostage dead, the robbers have nothing to lose anymore, the longer police waits the more damages can be expected. He decides to act right now. SWAT commander reports, snipers in place, units ready. He proposes to blow the doors out but Conners refuses, as there's explosives inside the bank. He prefers to cut the power for a few minutes, disconnecting the electronically closed doors so the soldiers will be able to enter the bank. Everything is ready for the assault.
Inside the bank: the perps take hold of two hostages, bind them and using a sophisticated system, send them upside down, hanging in front of the windows.
Outside, the SWAT unit checks its positions when Conners sees the hanging hostages. He guesses a trap, orders the SWAT commander to cancel the action but this one doesn't listen and launches the assault. Teddy and Vincent are waiting near the door, ready to enter behind the soldiers, when the door is blown out from the inside of the bank. After the commotion, the SWAT soldiers and the cops enter the bank, helping the hostages out. The four detectives and other cops search the building but in vain: the perps are nowhere to be found.
Vincent gives account of casualties and testimonies, there were 5 to 9 perps, impossible to identify because masked, survey cameras tapes are to be checked. Conners asks for the background of each hostage.
Outside, Shane asks the sound engineer to listen to the taped phone conversations. The guy is reluctant to let a stranger touch to his equipment but Shane can be very persuasive and soon he's listening with deep attention.
Conners checks the survey cameras. All of them have worked all along but for the safe vault one, destroyed in the explosion, and the gap when power was cut.
Shane is still listening to the audio record of the phone calls.
Conners has an interview with the bank teller (Kimani Ray Smith) who explains the bank as a rich Saoudian Prince for a customer but they don't check for safe contain other than biohazard or explosives. As the perps didn't take any money from the cash vault detectives conclude the Prince's safe was the target.
Capt. Jenkins is definitely unhappy with the way things turned and tells Conners he will be the scapegoat if any's needed.
After more tape listening, Shane goes to lunch with Conners. There he tries to expose his theory: Lorenz talked in a peculiar way, putting the accent of certain words that make him think of the Chaos Theory (by E. Lorenz), where apparently random facts finish by revealing a pattern. Conners cuts him, despising his university varnish, and asks why he entered the Force. Shane says it's a family tradition. Animosity rises between the two men, Shane knows of Conners' reputation, and Conners says that he will be able to judge him when he has gone through the same shit. Conners leaves after paying the bill. Vincent calls him as he has something to show him. Shane feels upset and pays with a note of his own, taking back Conners' and putting it in his wallet.
Conners finds Vincent with the female reporter, watching a video tape. Among the hostages escaping the bank Vince recognizes a Damon Richards (Ty Olsson), a robber he arrested before. The guy's on the street because he gave up his partners. Vincent remembers his address, he's living with a girl called Gina.
The team rushes to Richards' apartment. Things don't go smoothly, Richards shoots through the door. When entering an officer is injured, Teddy calls for backup. There's more shots from both sides, Vincent finds a furious and almost naked Gina (Natassia Malthe), fighting like a tiger, but he succeds in overpowering her to the ground and handcuffing her, which calls for a sarcastic remark by Teddy. Meanwhile Shane sees a blood trail on the ground and follows Richards who escapes through the window and fire-ladder, then runs his van. Shane borrows a motorbike and a spectacular pursuit ensues. Eventually Shane has a bad fall with the bike but when he thinks Richards will escape, a police car coming the other way blocks the van. Conners gets out with a smirk and arrests badly injured Richards after knocking him out.
Richards is unconscious but stable in the hospital. Conners and Teddy have a short moment alone but are interrupted by Shane who reports Gina Lopez has two kids and is probably for nothing in the bank robbery. Conners calls for Vincent to put her into an interrogation room. Vincent then congratulates Shane Keller; he knew his father and worked with him, it was a honour. The female technician (Iris Paluly) brings some news and flirts with Conners and Shane. She's exploring a travel bag they found at Richards' and Gina's. Among various items, a lot of money... 50 000$. Nevertheless the money doesn't come from the "World Global" but from "National Financial", a bank that was robbed 4 months earlier and whose perps are still in jail. Shane learns that each bank uses a special perfume for his notes (prints being unreadable after too many manipulations). Conners has understood that Shane is the son of Keller, a well known officer who died on duty.
In the interrogation room, Conners confronts Gina and asks about the money and Richards. She denies everything and asks for her lawyer. Then Conners threatens to have her children taken away from her.
Shane doubts her confession but Conners is sure of it. Shane is ready to condemn Conners' methods but his partner tells it's just about the blue line, not to cross it.
Conners and Shane pay a visit to the precinct vault where are kept evidences, weapons, drugs, cash, etc. The clerk, Harry Hume (Paul Perri) is less than friendly. They sign and enter. Shane remarks that an army wouldn't be able to break in but Conners answers that a cop can, very easily... And the shelf where the robbery money should be on is empty! Checking the book they see Detective Bernie Callo's the one who signed for. Harry can't remember the visit taking place two weeks ago, but if he signed for...
Meeting of the whole team in Capt. Jenkins' office. Teddy explains Bernie brought the money himself two weeks ago; 433 000$. Why would he need the money? Vincent invokes pressure. Teddy recalls he was getting divorced and asked her for a low-cost lawyer. Jenkins doubts because he knows Bernie to be honest. And if he's involved, why request for Conners instead of him during the robbery?
The news arrive: Bernie Callo has been found dead at home. The team goes there to investigate. Vincent brings a cardboard filled with blueprints of the bank, photos, documents. The phone rings, the answering machine starts, and they hear Lorenz's synthesized voice calling for Detective Conners and telling a pattern begins to emerge, and that vengeance will be his.
They learn that after his safe in Charlotte was robbed, the Saoudian Prince has removed all his belongings from USA. So the robbery wasn't about his goods... Why blow a bank up w/o touching either cash or safe deposit? Shane quotes then an Eastern saying about going back to the beginning of the path; back to the bank.
At the bank, a specialist has been watching again and again the vid tapes of survey cameras w/o finding anything new. But Conners' trained eye notices that whilst everybody's attention is drawn to the screen of the deposit vault camera turning empty with the explosion, another camera has been slightly moved - they're normally fixed. The hidden place is a computer whose keyboard has been used. After taking all prints on it, Conners asks their specialist to hack inside the bank system.
Conners, Shane, Teddy and Vince go together to an Italian restaurant. Vincent asks Shane about the quotation he made. It's a Buddhist one. Conners leaves the table for a while and Shane talks about Conners' former suspension, but Vincent takes his defence. Teddy goes to Conners, she expresses regrets for the past.
The prints on the bank keyboard belongs to Chris Lei, an Asiatic hacker. On there way back, in the car, Conners confesses he arrested him years ago. He missed some evidence and "bent" the law to have him convicted. Shane is shocked but Conners insists there's thing you're not taught at school, you may bend the law, as long as you don't break it! They arrive too late at the hacker's home, Chris has just been killed by Lorenz. Conners catches a glance of Lorenz on a monitor and tries to catch him outside. Lorenz escapes with his car after some shooting. Shane's slightly injured at the right arm.
At the hospital, Conners and Shane pays a visit to Damon Richards who's conscious again. Shane asks for permission to interrogate him and starts hard, punching where it hurts - literally. As Richards isn't ready to cooperate, Shane searches the pharmacy cupboard and takes out some morphine, explaining that the small dose delivered by the IV is good, but if he injects the whole flask, Richards will die very quickly. He pushes the needle in the IV and starts to inject the liquid, saying that anyway nobody will care for such a piece of scum! Richards immediately becomes loquacious.
Leaving the hospital, Conners is a little flabbergasted by Shane sudden change of step. But the young detective assures him nobody ever died from 5cc of saline solution...
Richards has revealed that Lorenz's true identity is [Scott?] Curtis, he's the brother of the kidnapper Conners killed on Pearl Bridge. He gave also the name of the two remaining perps and the address where they're all to meet. Obviously Curtis is eliminating his accomplices one by one.
The four detective with reinforcement organize a survey at night around the house. Conners and Shane are driving together and talking of Shane's father and why he became a cop too. At the meeting place, they find the two suspects but not Lorenz/Curtis. Some of the cops turn impatient and would like to arrest them immediately and Vincent intervenes on the radio too but Conners is adamant, he wants Curtis. Suddenly Teddy's beeper rings, alerting the two perps who get inside and hurrying things. The team enters the house searching for their suspects. They reach a room whose walls are covered with photos, press articles, headlines, all about the Pearl Bridge case and Conners' suspension. Teddy catches one of the perp whilst Conners fights with the other. Teddy discovers a detonator counting down and shouts everybody out of the house. All of them get out but Conners still fighting with his suspect. Explosions blow the whole house out. Vincent is hurt at the left arm. He's sitting outside the house, his arm in a sling and a med proposes him with morphine he accepts. [This is the last shot of Nick in the movie, but for flash-backs of already seen shots]
Conner's badly mangled body is all that can be discovered in the remnants of the house and Jenkins isn't that sorry to learn Conners hadn't made it out. Teddy tells him her thought about it, Conners was a better cop and a better man than him. And Shane totally agrees...
Back to the precinct, Shane receives a visit: the computer specialist has been studying the listing of bank operations. What he discovers is big stuff: the robbers used a virus who ordered a huge quantity of small fund transfers, creating screen accounts one after the other. A big transfer would have triggered alarms, but not 10,000,000 time 100$ from various accounts...They robbed one billion dollars! The operations should stop on the next business day, ie 6am and there's no way to interfere but to eradicate the virus. That's why the robbers tried to gain time till sunrise. The perps had to do it from inside the bank where the main computer was. Irony is the power cut ordered to open the doors for the SWAT has helped the virus spread.
Shane receives a phone call from Curtis, still using his synthesized voice to say he didn't killed anybody who didn't deserve it, that Callo was insignificant. Shane tells about to Jenkins who just think Curtis is playing with his head. But Shane doesn't agree: if Callo was insignificant then he wasn't the one who helped the robbers from inside the police? Shane goes to the precinct vault and confronts Harry, the keeper. He brings several reports signed by Callo to compare with the register: the signature was a fake. Callo never was a dirty cop! Harry recognizes he punched once Callo because a cop should never testify against another one... Shane is really upset, he missed Curtis, Lorenz or what's his name the whole day, he's a cop killer... Eventually Harry lets go of something, "Who knows Conners better than Him?"
First big spoiler for the plot, I make the lines smaller... Too read easily, increase the size of display.
In a flash-back we're taken back to Pearl Bridge where Conners's holding at gun point Curtis and his hostage. The first shot that killed the hostage was fired by his partner, Yolk, who was convicted on Bernie Callo's testimony.
A cop brings Shane an information: Lorenz/Curtiz/Yolk used Nextel to call him and they could trace the call. They know where he was... Shane rushes to the harbour, near the containers, to a small cafe. Yolk is leaving to find Shane in front of him, holding him at gun point. He pretends to give up but Shane doesn't buy the crap and effectively, Yolk shots and misses him but take the waitress in hostage, repeating the scene that occurred two months earlier on the bridge. But Shane didn't come alone, Teddy who has entered through the back door and whose intervention saves the hostage but not quite the situation as Yolk escapes among the containers. Shane runs after him. Yolk mocks him, playing cat and mouse, whilst Shane assures the virus will be soon broken and the money will be lost to him. The pursuit is interspaced with several gunfights... It take the two men to a wooden mole where they have a dirty fight. Despite being injured, Shane succeeds in retrieving his gun and shoots Yolk who falls to the water. His body comes back to the surface, he's dead.
Second and even bigger spoiler: here I print black on black. If you really want to know the whole truth, select the black part to read the text...
Back to the precinct at Conners' late office, Shane searches the place. On a bookshelf he finds a book about Lorenz and his Chaos theory, fully annotated by Conners who first pretended being ignorant when Shane talked about. He calls for airport, harbour, searching for a passenger with the name Conners, or Lorenz... Nothing. Then he glances at the name of the author, James Gleick. A new phone call and he's on the trail again!
At the airport he shows his plate and asks for info. His cell phone rings: it's Conners! Whilst Conners calmly explains how everything worked, we see flash-backs, significant details, missing scenes. He says he was impressed when Shane found about the Chaos theory. How did he disappear in the explosion? He had prepared two of them, first a small one and put his plate on a corpse [Scott Curtis?]. Then he escaped through a deep well under the house before starting the second explosion who finished crashing the house. Shane is desperately searching the airport for Conners, still on the phone, but Conners is upstairs, with a hat and dark glasses, holding a simple travel bag, watching him with amusement. Yes, he was the source inside the Force, he's a serial killer, a cop killer... For all what they've done to him when he was working by the book. And for the money. The lesson: "You don't always win." Conners cuts and goes to his fate: a private jet waiting for him, a charming hostess pouring a glass of champagne before the take-off...