With what seems like an almost over saturation of super hero movies now a days it’s hard to come up with an original idea that is not already an established comic book franchise or seemingly cheesy in it’s outcome without intent. That’s where Chronicle steps in.
Short Review: A great documented footage mashup with the super hero genre that actually works in it’s execution. Go see it.
Long Review: I have to preface this that I have come out of a press screening of this film 2 hours ago, so my thoughts may change slightly with more thought. However, I wanted to get my review out there while it’s fresh in my mind. First of all I had trepidation going into this movie. I was thinking two things 1) It’s going to suck, so don’t get hyped up and 2) It’s going to be fantastic, so just enjoy it. Right now I’m leaning towards 2.
The story is three teenagers: Andrew, Matt and Steve (yay Steve!) find a hole in the ground outside a party and begin to investigate, they are suddenly blessed with super powers and hilarity and trouble ensues. Don’t worry those aren’t spoilers, that’s directly from the trailer. What isn’t in the trailer which will be a slight spoiler is that the majority of this film is seen through Andrew, a troubled teenager who’s mother has cancer and his father is an alcoholic. Even though it’s seen through his eyes, you really get a sense of why the characters do what they do and what these powers do that enhances their personalities.
I do have to address the “First Person Camera” stuff that may turn people off. We’ve all seen the documented footage style before dating all the way back to Blair Witch and most recently Paranormal Activity. But what works in this film is that it’s not “shaky cam” and the camera actually feels naturally placed throughout the film. Sure it took a bit of getting used to at the beginning as everything on camera seemed forced. However, it works as it’s the first time the camera is introduced into these teenagers lives. It gets more natural as the movie continues on. So please don’t let the style of the film deter you from seeing it.
As for the story/script, I will say that this movie is the movie I wish I could’ve written. It’s greatly executed, not hackneyed at all (Andrew’s alcoholic father maybe but that’s a small nit-pick). It really gives the most logical story as to what would you do if you were a teenager and got a super power? (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!1! - I should mention it is only one super power, it’s kind of obvious from the trailer but they get the power of telekinesis)
The story for only being just under 90 minutes long doesn’t feel rushed, or even missed. I didn’t realize until the movie was over that it was only that long. You get sucked into the movie.
Geek Factor: It’s people getting super powers! Duh!
Conclusion: This may not be for everyone, as it is a geeky kind of film. But I’d say for those who don’t like superhero movies, this film may be a great way for them to watch one without the all that spandex. Unless you’re into that kind of thing ;)
My grade: A