Chronicle Movie Review

by on February 3, 2012

in Entertainment, movie reviews

This is a movie review of Chronicle.

Chronicle movie poster

Chronicle stars Dane DeHaan (True Blood, In Treatment), Alex Russell & Michael B. Jordan (Red Tails, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) and is directed by Josh Trank.

I was worried about coming into Chronicle because of what looked like limited experience of the director, Josh Trank. His resume on IMDb shows his only directorial experience is the 2007 TV series, The Kill Point and after that, he fulfilled roles such as photo researcher, sound editor, and second unit director in projects prior to Chronicle.

No fear… Trank took this puppy and ran with it very well.

The film summary on IMDb reads:

“Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.”

Chronicle is primarily about Andrew Detmer (DeHaan), whose a bit of a loner high school kid who the bullies find easy to beat on and has himself an angry dad who isn’t all that nice either. On top of things, Andrew’s mom is bed-ridden and very sick. The movie starts right after Andrew decides he is going to start taping every part of his life.

Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan and Alex Russell in Chronicle - finding it in the cave

 

His cousin Matt (Russell) drags his butt out of his shell and gets him to go to a rave with him and while at this rave, Matt and Steve (Jordan) find a hole in the ground and go get Andrew and his camera to check it out.

The lives of these three high school kids change very quickly after what they discover in the hole, and at first, the change is a novelty to be played and tinkered with as they discover its limits.

This change is the power of telekinesis, for lack of a better term.

Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan and Alex Russell in Chronicle - having fun

It’s all fun and games until something goes wrong and it goes from there until, in the end, … hey! Wait, why am I telling you this? I’m not spoiling anything for you!

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For me, Chronicle was actually a well told story of kids finding something cool, and how, through progressive events and details, the need for maturity or what the lack thereof can do for one.  This cool thing becomes their burden.

Events in the movie progressed well within reason and delivered a complete story while the effects within the movie were surprisingly good… at times. It’s a found footage type movie, so you can get away with a few questioning shots of effects, but at times, the producers/director let us see things from a stationary perspective and you can see that they’ve applied themselves nicely.

But there are moments that the found-footage, hand-held perspective plays well into the experience of the movie-goer. I can’t say when/where ’cause I ain’t givin’ that up either.

Dane DeHaan in Chronicle

But I came away feeling I saw a great popcorn flick that had enough story to draw me into the events and main characters, where at times I cared, I worried and I quietly cheered.  The method of how the story was developed and shown, made it feel like it could have been a real event.  And DeHaan pulled this tormented kid off rather nicely.

There are a few moments, deeds or details that were shown or hinted at but barely touched on or left for open interpretation. But I also see some of these oversights as potentially planned oversights that leaves material for a sequel, if there is one.

And you know what, I hope there is one, because it’s fascinating material that can be gone over nicely. And yes, I’d love to see a sequel. I’m just surprised that in this day and age where sequels are announced months before the first movie opens in theaters (aka, Green Lantern), that we already haven’t heard of a sequel!

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Despite spending an awful lot on snacks at the movie, and if I didn’t focus, being able to hear both movies on either side of the theater I was in, I still felt like dropping the bucks to see Chronicle was money well spent for a bit of me-time and some Hollywood entertainment.

If you follow me and know how I am about movies… I’d suggest heading out the door and checking it out. I had fun, and it felt like a serious kind of fun that almost made this not be the popcorn movie it is.

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If you want to chat about things from the movie that won’t leave spoilers HERE, go check out my spoiler chat of Chronicle on Blogger.

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