Chronicle

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be a super hero or to suddenly gain extraordinary powers like flying or telekinesis?  In Chronicle, we get to see writer and director Josh Trank’s vision of what happens when three high school students do just that.

Set in the Seattle area, three loosely connected high school kids come across something incredible in a large rock that is in an underground cavern. The three students, played by Michael B. Jordan (Friday Night Lights, Gears of War 3), Dane DeHaan (In Treatment) and new comer Alex Russell are exposed to this unknown object. What follows is a video journal of their discovery of their abilities; as well as the training of their minds to do new and superhuman feats such as moving cars with only their minds or flying around.

Left to Right: Russell, Jordan and DeHaan all really solidify this movie as a good movie

Andrew Detmer (DeHaan) begins to realise that with this ability has come a new-found power and he is able to push himself further and further beyond what his cousin, Matt (Russell) and new friend Steve (Jordan) are able to do. From here the movie takes a darker turn as we see the once down-trodden Andrew begin to master his abilities and take what he wants to get what he needs, which in this case is money for his dying mother’s medication.

As far as a concept goes, this movie is fresh and new and even manages to make very good use of its found footage nature – making the whole story arch feel more like a personal story of Andrew and his journey of learning to become more than what he is.  When Andrew takes his powers to the next level the movie shifts from being a quirky quite humorous take on real people with supernatural abilities to a dark movie where the world has become colder and shifted.

It is this gradual shift in the movie that helps to make this a movie that deserves so much more attention over other superhero fare. Much like an origin story where we see the rise and fall of the hero, here the audience is able to connect with Andrew as he only tries to do what is right by his own set of morals. But unlike many super hero movies we do not see the hero make sense of it all and become the hero that is destined to be, we see Andrew take his darkness and use it as his source of power.

Moving away from the character-based development, the other strong point of this movie is its story. The fact that no one had really thought about making a superhero found footage movie, let alone a movie about high school students who discover they have these abilities, is astounding. However, this being the first of its kind also leads to some cracks in Chronicle, though they are mainly around the vehicle that is used to tell the story.

While an interesting trick, this found footage camera awareness can become slightly annoying after a while

In the beginning of the movie, we find that the use of the camera is an interesting medium to aid in the telling of this tale, yet the further that Andrew develops his abilities and begins to control the camera with his mind, the whole camera as medium of telling the story becomes disjointed and out-of-place, with it even at times just being an awkward device that the director feels like he needs to remind the audience that this is a found footage movie, as is shown by the final sequence where Andrew has to pull a number of cell phones and cameras and let them swirl around him to film him.

Overall, this is a really good movie with a lot of heart in the right places and has a good number of laughs with the main cast throughout the movie, and while it does have its issues with the story being a little clunky and the camera work being a little awkward; it brings something new and innovative to the table of cinema that has in recent times been a little stagnant with the same ideas being regurgitated.

DrDogbert (43 Posts)

My name is DrDogbert I’m a Movie geek, Gamer, reader, writer, down right plain normal guy who likes to talk to himself at times