Chronicle (2012) – movie review

chronicle 2012 pic 7
Chronicle (2012)

Directed by Josh Trank
Story by Josh Trank and Max Landis 

Alex Russell
Dane DeHaan
Michael B. Jordan
Michael Kelly
Ashley Hinshaw

Chronicle is an enjoyable film with lots of action, likable characters and blockbuster special-FX. It is a film in the reality-style, hand-held, video-cam technique, films. It is not a found footage film – we are seeing everything in real time through the camera lens (even though it is being recorded on video). Early in the movie, this style helps build a strong relationship with the three main characters, but as the action begins to escalate it becomes a burden to the film.  The movie appeals to my sense of boyhood adventure and angst, so I think it is more suited to a malechronicle 2012 poster audience.

High school outcast, Andrew, is brought together in friendship with his popular cousin, Matt, and the even more popular, high school jock, Steve, when the three of them discover an underground cavern with a giant glowing metal object buried within it. Contact with the object causes hyper-telekinesis in the three youths. They form an instant bond as they learn to use their new found powers. Andrew documents all their adventures in harnessing these powers on his video camera and we see the tale manifest through his lens.

Just when it seems Andrew is going to shed his outcast and downtrodden social standing, a series of unfortunate events unfold – one, involving his sick mother and abusive step-dad and another mishap at a party that it seems every student from his high school has attended. The film does a great job at making you empathize with Andrew through these harsh issues but you are quickly horrified as the young man turns on his friends and uses his powers in the most destructive ways possible.

The rest of the film turns into a modern-day “Carrie” with a sci-fi angle, crossed with a superhero vs. supervillain battle between Andrew and Matt.  It is during this battle that the hand-held/reality-style camera work becomes a hindrance and the format is suddenly dropped and switches to third person camera angles, interlaced with surveillance camera and news-chopper shots. It was a bit jarring when this happened and led to a bit of a distraction. However, the action is quickly ramped-up, and I for one, was able to make the mental switch and enjoy the rest of the film. Despite the mentioned drawback, I did like the film, perhaps not enough to buy and own it, but it was definitely solid enough to spend a night watching.

Great action in this realistic superhero,  first person sci-fi film!

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12 thoughts on “Chronicle (2012) – movie review

  1. I really enjoyed this one a lot. I had the same problems with you did though. I blind bought it for $3, and didn’t feel cheated. There has been talk of sequels, but it didn’t make enough at the box office to warrant them.

  2. I really enjoyed Chronical, a good film. Usual for me, as I usually can’t stand found footage / hand-held video camera / style films at all. I guess it was because of its take on superpowers that was done so well that appealed to me. Certainly a film that’s worth a look, doubt there will ever be a sequel though,

  3. This is a perfect example of how using Found Footage can both make your film original and then hinder it. Still a good movie though.

  4. I own the DVD. No inclination to buy the Blu-Ray. But, I did find this a fun watch. Liked that these kids didn’t want to be superheroes, which made it relatable.

    Only things I feel it stumbled on was a little of character development. I think an extra 15-20 minutes would have been great. Everything seems to happen very fast after the party and one of the character’s heel turns, if you know what I mean lol. To me personally, while it didn’t come out of nowhere, I felt that it never really built that well to it, either.

    • Yeah, I agree to a certain extent, but with the FF format, that would entail the kid filming things that no teen would want to film, like the dysfunction of his personal family life. So I can see why it wasn’t in the film.

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