Saturday, February 4, 2012


Directed by Josh Trank, Adam Schroeder Productions, 2012.

Starring: Michael B. Jordon, Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Ashley Hinshaw, and Michael Kelly.

Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi.

Question: If you could have one superpower what would it be? Well, what if you were a teenage boy and you and 2 other boys all obtained the same ability and didn't have the maturity to fully handle that power? Yep, that's Chronicle.

I have often thought about what superpower I would enjoy most: flying, reading people's minds or going invisible. I'd image all the possibilities and what would happen; where I would go high up in the air; what I could learn what people really thought; how I could just disappear when it all got too hard.  But something always pops up to make me realize I am better off remaining merely human, because it's not what special ability I could possess that will make me special or great. It's the good choices I should and can make with the gifts I was born with that will prove I am special. That's all we really want, right, to be noticed and considered special?

Chronicle starts off with a high school student in his house setting up a video camera. It is present day. Suddenly there is a loud knock (pounding) on the door and a father yelling at him. The conversation that takes place just made my heart tighten and I knew how this movie would end. Anyway, the kid starts documenting his life, and for the rest of the movie we see everything through his camera or a few others. It was an approach that has been used before - "lost footage" cinematography or at least that is what I call it.

After a few scenes of seeing life from his perspective with talks with his cousin, the bullying he endures and how he is a loner, the story takes a sudden turn because he and 2 other boys receive an extraordinary ability. For the next hour or so it is just typical teenage boy stuff playing around with it, but the momentum of how one handles this sudden gift starts leaning towards the dark side. That's it - no more details.

This film is a cautionary tale as many stories are that are about teenagers. As Peter Parker was told by his uncle, "With great power comes great responsibility." But Peter Parker was awarded with a gift of compassion and he was raised by loving, caring people to help veer him in the right direction even when temptation or dark thoughts creep in - as they almost always do. So what happens when you are 17 years-old you are not fully capable of handling a sudden extraordinary ability and no one is around to keep you grounded? Yep, it's not good.

Chronicle surprised me. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. The story was cohesive and had just enough special effects mixed into to real life situations that it felt genuine. I will say the storyline was a bit predictable, as I mentioned in the beginning of this review, but the ride Chronicle takes you on is worth taking. It has been a while since I was a lonely teenager searching for peace and understanding, but this film forces you to remember all the awkward moments of those years and allows you to empathizes with the characters. Well done.

My favorite thing: A unique concept that was fully executed.

My least favorite thing: The father/son relationship.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 83 minutes

Review: 7 out of 10

Click on film poster to watch instantly or purchase DVD:


Janene said...

Whoa. This sounds like a movie that, though uncomfortable, should be seen. I have to say, you've left me intrigued!

Tired of Previews said...

Thanks Janene - that's why I do what I do. So many previews or commercials for movies can really turn people away before they have a chance to see what the film really is about. I hope you enjoy Chronicle.