If it's crap ... We'll tell you
In the history of found-footage films there has been a slew of TERRIBLE crap. However, every once in a while, there will be one or two will rise to the top like Cloverfield. Now, we can add another one to the mix and that's Chronicle. Maybe it has something to do with how they both begin with a C...
Chronicle is an amazing and innovative movie. For me, it feels like 2012's Source Code in the way that I was going in expecting only a good sci-fi movie. Instead, I came out loving every single minute of it.
Chronicle is about the story of Andrew Detmer (played fantastically Dane DeHaan) and his evolution into a super powered being. Andrew has a shitty life. He gets bullied at school, has no friends, his mother is bed-ridden with an illness and his dad is an alcoholic abuser. The closest thing he has to a friend is his cousin, Matt, (Alex Russell) who only drives him to school and back. The only thing that makes his life bearable is his new found love for filming everything, and thus brings in the found-footage element to the movie
One day, Matt invites him to a party to try to be more social and guess what? Things don’t go to plan for Andrew; he gets confronted by some drunken douche who makes him cry. He leaves the party, to be found crying in the parking lot by the most popular guy in school, Steve Montgomery, (Michael B. Jordan) who asks him to film something amazing he found in the forest with Matt. As they reach what seems like a normal hole in the ground they hear a certain pulse…almost like a heartbeat. The three decide to go investigate the source of the noise where they discover a crystalline structure that starts to pulse faster and faster until a loud boom erupts from it and then...they wake up…
They discover that they have powers and start bonding over their new found abilities. The three go to malls and other shops to prank some people as anyone else would have done. This was pretty funny to be honest, but the thing is, through all these ruses we see that these characters build an amazing chemistry with one another. You, as the viewer, are happy that Andrew is able to experience happiness for once in his depressing life. Also, what makes Andrew such an amazing character is that you can relate to him. Everyone has been in a situation where you’ve been teased or yelled at by your parents and the movie strikes those same chords in you. You can see the same human failings in him that you could see in yourself if you were in his position. It only gets worse from here.
We begin to see an overbearing presence of darkness inside Andrew that’s growing…and growing. This inevitably leads to his evolution into a villain; a villain whom you can’t completely hate because you know what he’s been through and the film makes it a natural progression for the character. This movie, unlike other unorthodox action films gives you characters that you have trouble rooting for (which is a good thing). The film doesn’t hold your hand and allows you to think for yourself and make your own decisions on whether something is right or wrong.
Even though I love superhero movies like Iron Man or Captain America, there will always be something about telling a fresh take on an old story that just makes me happy. Not a lot of films delve into the origins of a super villain as the basis of an entire movie. Not only is this a really amazing story, the film looks awesome.
The director, Josh Trank, makes amazing use of the found-footage style in this movie. For example, the three of them have telekinesis so they’re able to manipulate the camera without holding it. That’s really ingenious. They even go as far as to bring in convenience store cameras and other cameras of such to great effect. Another thing that I found to be clever is bringing in a love interest for Matt who’s a video blogger. Here we have another angle to get an alternative view of what’s going on. In my opinion, the most amazing thing about having this movie filmed this way is that we get to experience all these events in the first person. In a way, we can all experience what it means to be a superhero, and man is it ever a roller coaster.
The acting in the movie is superb. Everyone performs his/her own role with plenty of conviction that aids to the overall realism of the movie. You can actually believe that you could find people like this in the real world. Even the action scenes are incredible. Unlike other action movies, the scenes with action acknowledge the fact that physics does play a role in how events turn out. What can't this movie do? It seems like I have nothing overwhelmingly bad to say about this awesome movie.
Did you know that the writer, Max Landis, is the son of John Landis who directed many amazing comedies such as the Blues Brothers and Animal House? I guess genius runs in the family. I’m not sure what else is there to say without going into spoiler territory. This movie is loads of fun; it’s unpredictable at times which always keeps you hooked. It’s a wonderfully crafted film with many creative and jaw-dropping moments. Moments like, “oh my god, they actually went there!” or “god damn that’s awesome!” But most importantly, it tells a really, really good story and half the time, you don’t find that. You cannot miss this movie, go watch it as soon as possible.
Better than Sex!
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