Movie Review: Chronicle – In Short ,You Need to See This Film

There have been a few films that have caught me by surprise by how well they execute a story in their genre. Chronicle definitely falls into the realm of the found footage genre . Films like Paranormal Activity and The Devil Inside have proven to be successful at the box office using Horror as their choice to carry a story. Chronicle however falls more into the territory of a teen drama / superhero film.

The film starts by introducing us to Andrew a socially awkward teen who is picked on at school , has a mother who is terminally ill and a drunken father that takes out his frustration on Andrew because he was let go from the Fire Department due to an injury . Andrew has bought a camera and decides that from now on he is filming everything in his life. He wants to document his life and his experiences . Andrew’s only immediate friend is his cousin Matt who convinces him to go to a rave with him. Andrew brings his camera to document their time together and after getting picked on again takes a break outside . Were introduced to our third main character Steve at this point who is running for school class president . He tells Andrew that he is with Matt and that he needs to follow him and get what they found on tape . At this point if youve seen the film you know these three characters end up discovering something that gives them their powers. The whole sequence is done well and Andrew’s camera ends up malfunctioning as Steve starts to have a nose bleed.

We jump into what seems to be a few weeks into the future. Andrew , Matt and Steve have all grown closer to each other as they realize that their brush with death has given them the ability to control things with their mind. This part of the film is what I would refer to as the harmless part of the film . We get to see our three main characters becoming closer friends as they share a bond and secret now that binds them together. One of the first things Andrew learns how to control with his mind is his camera . This is one of the single smartest choices director Josh Trank and Writer max Landis make in the movie. It allows us as viewers a way to view all three characters interacting together while the camera pans and moves around them . You never feel as though your watching a fond footage film at this point.

After a day of goofing off Matt , Andrew and Steve are driving home and at this point things in the movie start to get dark. You start to see Andrew change as he realizes how powerful he is becoming. The three friends agree to not use their powers against other people and not to use them in public and things seem to go back to normal. Steve invites Matt and Andrew to meet him out in an abandon spot , and reveals to them that he has learned how to fly. This leads to one of the coolest sequences of the film. I don’t know if another film has managed to achieve the sense of flying better than Josh Trank has in Chronicle . The sound editing use of camera and special effects are done so well.

Shortly there after a series of events happen to Andrew that lead him to feeling helpless and picked on again. I don’t want to spoil anything for you but the film takes a very unexpected turn after this and has you by the throat until the climactic and powerful finale that sees all of Seattle get destroyed as Andrews passed rejection and abuse effects him and his relationships with his new best friends.

This film was made for only $12 million dollars but is executed in a way that is comparable to District 9. The three main actors all come off convincing in their portrayal of being friends and teenagers . The script itself bu Max Landis is great. It doesn’t talk down to the audience and manages to tell a heart-felt story with great characters and strong story telling. Josh Trank pulls off an amazing job with showing us a found footage film that doesn’t manage to make you feel sick to watch and does an amazing job of having the characters not act with one and another but the camera itself as its being controlled by Andrew . All three of the main actors definitely do a great job in their roles but this movie belongs to Dane Dehaan and as Andrew. He manages to have you sympathize with him in the beginning of the film and fear him in the latter part of the movie . You see how he could turn into the monster he becomes but also sympathize with his journey along the way.

I urge everyone to check this film out in the theaters this week before new trailers pop up ruining the final 15 min of the film. There are huge action sequences that you need to see without having them spoiled for you . Buildings fall characters die , and we see a fight that is comparable to Superman 2 , but executed again for only $12 million dollars. Everyone involved in the film will have a safe future in Hollywood and if Fox decides to go forward with offering Josh Trank the Fantastic Four franchise I hope he brings Max Landis along for the ride. In short go see this film.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots