Released February 3, 2012
Directed By Josh Trank
Starring Alex Russel and Dane DeHaan
If I had to describe Chronicle in one word, it would be “epic”. What starts out as a ho-hum teenage tale of high school happenings and friends hanging out on the weekends becomes an engaging story told with much ambition. Three friends discover a type of otherworldly power in a hole in the woods, which changes their lives forever. The overall story in Chronicle is presented wonderfully and is very creative. It’s a rare breed. The viewer always knows what’s going on but it’s also complex and diverse, making for an enjoyable, hassle-free experience. Most movies in the sci-fi genre tend to be confusing and mind boggling, but not Chronicle, thankfully.
The plot is spot-on and the pacing is great. Everything unfolds nicely with minor glitches. You really become interested once the characters realize the power they have. The film delivers a nice message about friendship and controlling one’s power. The film’s three lead characters all have great chemistry on-screen and mesh well together. Chronicle has a modern edge to it as well, which lets teens to the young 20 something’s relate easily. From texting all the time and partying with friends to using cameras and so on.
Do you want a film that’s edgy? Exciting? Engaging? A film that’s all out cool and fun to watch? Chronicle is the movie for you. I can’t stress enough just how entertaining this movie is. It’s one of the film’s strongest points. The ending in particular is sure to impress viewers, not to mention surprise them. Chronicle’s special effects aren’t the greatest, but given the actual circumstances, like flying around in the sky, you can’t say anything bad about it. The film never really gets going from an emotional standpoint until the very end, which is somewhat of a shame. If more emphasis was put on character development and display of emotions from the start, it would have sent it over the top. This is not to say the film lacks emotion or any type of feeling.
Chronicle, when viewed on the outside, has a psychological and even philosophical sense about it, giving itself an originality of sorts that most films of the genre lack. Even though the film has many strengths, it’s ultimate downfalls are it’s lack of diversity in it’s characters and it’s tendency to over use special effects, in a way, masking it’s cons. Despite it’s minor faults, all in all, Chronicle is simply a joy to watch, and with an ending that is emotionally gripping and intense, it feels like putting a cherry on top of a big pile of ice cream.
4 out of 5
Second Opinion by Austin Winkler
The story revolves around these three teenagers who found a crater in an open field. When they went to go investigate inside the crater, they came out with the power of telepathy, which is the power to move or manipulate objects with your mind or any non-physical means. One of the teenagers, named Andrew, has been living a life of abuse at the hands of his alcoholic step-father, and is one of the misfits at school. He gains the idea of using his power for vengence and his two other telepathic friends try to persuade out of his vengeful mindset.
I’m not a big fan of found-footage movies at all. The Paranormal Activity series was pretty decent, but it wasn’t worth talking about. Other than that, I’ve never seen a found-footage film that deserved any sort of praise…until Chronicle. The story to Chronicle isn’t the most original story, but it’s a great story and it’s displayed quite well. The pacing is great too, there wasn’t a single dull moment in the movie. The young and rookie cast play their parts well and everyone had some sort of realism with their role. One of my only complaints about this movie was Andrew’s relationship with his abusive step-father. They played their parts well with the given script, but I feel like more could have come from it. Andrew was an angry, neglected, and abused teenager and wanted retribution. Quite obviously, he’s gonna use his powers to gain his retribution.
The movie only showed a pinch of all the possiblities of that could’ve improved the plot. However, the directors were probably shooting for a PG-13 rating rather than an R rating. So if they would’ve showed 100% of his anger and wrath, it would’ve given the movie a violent shove to an R rating on the cause of the heavily emotional mood swing and the brutality that came with it. Another thing that I feel could’ve been better about this movie was the special effects. For the most part, the effects were done quite well, but when they were flying, it didn’t look very real to me. It’s not that they did a terrible job with the scene, it’s just that we’re living in 2012 and the technological advancements that came with it were obviously not used correctly in that particular scene. Bottom line, Chronicle is one of the best movies to come out this year. There’s only two problems that I noticed with it, but they’re easy to overlook. Chronicle is a very entertaining movie and it shows that the found-footage genre does, in fact, have quite a bit of potential.