Yell! Magazine’s review of Chronicle (2012):
Remember that movie about the teens with super powers? You know – the one where some rash, young adults come of age through understanding the great power that connotes great responsibility?
Now, if you asked, “which one?” then congratulations, my friend. You’ve been properly set up for the rest of this review. Rest free of anxiety, mein herr, and enjoy a steady stream of sound analysis.
You see, the problem with the sci-fi/teen-powers/superhero genre is that, by now, it’s been done in every way conceivable. You all know the drill; Some awkward/cocky/”regular” kid gets X as a power, goes through a montage wherein he learns how to use X, and finally goes on to achieve Y, thus saving the world. Sometimes, they vary in the powers used or the major plot points, but they all usually can be summed up in the same way. That’s not to say they’re bad – they’re just a little too “been there, done that.”
And then Chronicle (2012) comes along, with it’s derivative “hand-held” style and not-so threatening lack of a global crisis. At first, it kind of just sits there and tells its story; nice and unassuming, with a clever method of masking a low budget.
And then, about 20 minutes in, it hits you.
“I… I can’t look away from the screen.”
Chronicle’s strength, you see, stems directly from its usage of a handheld camera. I mean, sure, it hides the low budget with relative competence, but it’s the premise of teen super-powers and the relationship between the main characters (and their ultimate breakdown) that not only excuses the shaky-cam, but takes full advantage of it. It’s a fine flavor that’s characteristic of any gourmet flick – the quality of having all elements in your movie mesh together perfectly in its own unique style.
What’s that? You want a synopsis? I got your synopsis right here, buddy.
Breaking Down Chronicle (2012)
Our story begins with three high school seniors: Andrew (Dane DeHaan), the awkward and quiet one who films his life for one reason or another, Matt (Alex Russell), his cousin, who’s pretty much your average good guy/regular Joe, and lastly, we have Steve (Michael B. Jordan), a surprisingly likeable and cocky high school quarterback.
These three guys get radiated, and gain telekinetic powers, aka, the power to move things with your mind. What follows is both the flourishing of their friendship and its subsequent falling apart.
The three most dangerous men in the world, right here.
Done before? Yeah, I suppose.
Done like this? NO, NO IT HAS NOT.
You see, as obvious as the plot may seem, it all stays fresh, dynamic and just plain interesting through the directorial style that was chosen. It’s not an idea hampered by its stylistic choices – it’s completely and utterly enhanced by it.
Works like this: Handheld camera films hold a sense of dynamicity, which is exercised through excellent pacing. The pacing entails that the characters grow in complexity at a satisfying rate, and the entire rising sense of action and drama culminates fantastically in a third act that’ll knock even the most hardened film critic flat on his ass.
Read the verdict after the jump…
- Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
- Year Released:
- 3 February 2012
- Josh Trank
- Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael Kelly, Ashley Hinshaw, Anna Wood, Crystal-Donna Roberts, Armand Aucamp, and Michael B. Jordan
- Action, Sci-Fi, Drama
- Official URL:
- Chronicle Official