When I saw the first trailer for Chronicle, I’ll admit, I was beyond excited to see this movie. Three high-school kids who develop telekinesis and wreak havoc on mankind is enough to get me into the theater.
The 1 hour and 25 min run-time for the film was worth the $5 I spent. (Early-bird special. Who knew?) But by the end of the film, I was left feeling torn about how good the film really was. Chronicles is essentially the Cloverfield of the superhero genre, but without J.J. Abrams.
The plot in Chronicle is…well, I’m not sure there really was much of one. Nothing is really explained and by the end of the film even the characters are left looking for answers they should’ve been seeking from the beginning. The movie’s main focus is on the relationship between Andrew, Matt, and Steve (more Andrew and Matt than Steve) and the inevitable downfall of Andrew. It was like watching Anakin go to the Dark Side all over again because if you’ve seen any of the trailers or tv spots, you know that Andrew’s going to get tired of being pushed around eventually. And for a kid who can bend a car with his mind, I pity the douche who happens to be the last straw. Let’s just say there’s a point in the film where we see Andrew could have a future as a dental hygienist.
The acting and effects were great, and there were plenty of moments that kept me thoroughly invested in the characters. Because after all, this film is a character piece on Andrew and his downfall. The Cloverfield-style of filming felt like it limited the story and the action sequences. You only see what was shown on cameras from around the city and at one point Andrew is kind enough to grab as many digital devices as possible and press “record” with his mind so that his final showdown can be on film. I wonder if touch screens would really work with telekinesis… Now, I understand that the film’s budget and the creative decision to tell the story this way is explained by Andrew’s camcorder fetish, but I would have loved to have seen more layers to the film than what was shown and more detail in the hectic showdown in the finale of the film.
Overall, Chronicles was an enjoyable experience. It was a good start to the superhero orgy that will be the summer of 2012, and entertaining enough for me to tell people I’ve seen it. I’ll also be keeping track of the film’s director, Josh Trank’s future in film. The guy is only 4 years older than me and proved with this film to be a talented storyteller with a lot of potential. I’m curious to see more films directed by him in the future.
The final decision? Chronicle is absolutely worth checking out if you’ve got less than 90 mins to spare.