May 14, 2012 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

In the real world, if a guy in his teen years somehow inherited superpowers, would they be a superhero? Nope, probably not. Chronicle is the story about three unlikely friends that stumble upon some alien-like force underground that gives them telekinetic powers. The more they exercise their super powers, the more they evolve and gain strength. Basically, they’re like Jedi Knights that can fly, but without all the sage-like wisdom and control.

Director Josh Trank uses the whole “found footage” style of filmmaking, and he does so well enough for it not to be a complete nuisance. The script plays out  like a Greek tragedy, as the three friends grow stronger with their new-found powers, as one is shaped to fall into the darkness. “With great power comes great responsibility.” Well, these three friends ignore that very crucial advise altogether, and that’s what makes the script interesting. It’s not a superhero film, it’s a film about teens with superpowers. In fact, there’s barely any parts in the film where any of the three friends use their powers to save lives.

The three main characters in the film are  Andrew, Matt, and Steve. The film is mainly from Andrew’s point of view, and he’s played by a fairly talented Dane DeHaan. Andrew is a teenager that is pretty much closed off from any cliques in high school, and deals daily with his sick mother and abusive father. DeHaan plays Andrew very naturally, which might come easier because most people haven’t seem him in anything else, but he also maintains an anger in his eyes that foreshadows what he will become. The other two teens with super powers are played by Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan (I know right). They do well in their roles, and all of them together come from different tiers of high school popularity, where Andrew is at the bottom.

Chronicle is a nice little film that gives us a fresh story for the “found footage” style. What it does best is presents us with what we’ve probably fantasized about: getting superpowers without having the responsibility of being heroes.

Potential Drawbacks:

The whole “found footage” aspect of the film may feel unecessary to some, and the film might have worked better if it wasn’t a “found footage” film.  However, this style could’ve been chosen to save money on the CGI. There are some that believe the “found footage” aspect of the film is forced.

The film up until Andrew goes batshit crazy works very well, even with some of the bland parts about teen angst. Seeing Andrew flying around like some bloodied demon child in an alternate version to Carrie was kind of laughable. It seems that there was a good concept for a script at hand, and then by the closing of the script, the writer just ran out of gas.

Film Recommendations:

The Craft


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