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06 February 2012

Chronicle (2012)

Directed by: Josh Trank
Starring: Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama, Action & Adventure
Colour, 83 Minutes
Now here is a superhero movie that stands out from the crowd of recent years. We have seen Captain America, Spider-man, Iron-Man and even Hancock. Now we see a film showing teenagers who gain powers, and give natural reactions to them as they have their adolescent journey using these powers, which they soon learn have destructive capabilities. In its 80 minutes, we get witty humour, emotional depth and lively performances making it very different to your average blockbuster superhero film.

Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over.

The film seems to combine elements of Hancock, Paranormal Activity and Super 8. Hancock, for the powers, Paranormal Activity for feeling like a ‘found footage’ film and Super 8 for following a group young people. This is not to say it is not original to an extent. While it has lent ideas from previous films, the way in which the film flows is wonderful. The reactions the trio give to the powers gives it dare I say a realistic touch.

What would you do if you had powers? Likely, you would not try to be a hero or be destructive. Here, the friends are playful with their powers using them to do things such as fly, cause objects to float and even give a child a bit of a scare in the toy store with a teddy bear.

The film gives you both comedy and drama. The first 30-40 minutes give you the comedy as we see them experiment with their powers, and as we progress, we see the true capabilities the powers have and their dangers.

The plot is rather unoriginal and quite contrived at time but it is a story told nicely I would say. It does have a cliché style at times (such as the typical teenagers going to house party’s concept and meeting girls), but it surpasses that with having wit and a smart script that has some spark of creativity.

The cast was just superb. This group of young talented actors all gave strong performances.  Dane DeHaan plays Andrew, the boy who enjoys recording everything with his camera and has an abusively mean father and an ill mother. Michael B. Jordan is Steve, another teenager who becomes friends with Andrew at the start of the film moments before they gain their powers. Alex Russell is Matt, Andrew’s cousin who is considerate and seems to have trouble with gaining a relationship. These three adolescent characters were all played beautifully, truly capturing a realistic friendship.

Another intriguing thing with the film is the director, Josh Trank and the writer Max Lindis. They are both newcomers and this is their first film (on the big screen). As well as choosing three relatively new actors for the teenagers (some also newcomers), they have definitely done a swell enough job to entertain. The found-footage style to it gives it a fresh feeling, making this a nicely polished superhero movie.

Verdict: Chronicle tells stories of three boys who gain powers, and soon discover their dangers. The plot is simple, the story is short and offers some nice camera work, laughs, thrills, and a good touch of drama with an intelligent script that I am sure its teenage audience will appreciate and enjoy.

Rating: 8/10


Extra Information
Screenplay by: Max Landis
Budget: $15 Million
Age Certificate: 12a
Country: USA
Language: English


At RottenTomatoes
At IMDB


7 comments:

  1. Yeah, it was good. 3/4 from me. Some people liked it even more; I'm glad it proved a popular item at the weekend Box Office. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I liked it... sort of. I gave it a 7/10, but generously. I thought the young crew (actors, writers, director) all did a great job for their debuts. I think we will see more from Trank and Landis in the future.

    Good review Thomas :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks for reading, I wonder what they will make next,

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice review! I will probably catch this one on DVD, it looks like Super 8 only less interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. very good review Thomas. I have yet to see it but a lot of people have been suggesting that I do.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Terrific review, I look forward to seeing this soon, it looks pretty great, a bit like an American version of the show Misfits

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great review, really impressive debut. I'd probably go with 7/10 rather than 8/10 but I'm real glad to see positive reviews. I thought the multiple camera technique for the climax was particularly effective but I thought the actors let it down slightly in parts.

    ReplyDelete

 

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