Thursday 24 May 2012

Today's Review: Chronicle

Kids these days, they just can't put their damn video cameras down. Our protagonist Andrew has a good reason though, I guess, as he wants to document the verbal and physical abuse he suffers at the hands of his alcoholic father. But when Andrew's cousin Matt and his friend Steve lure Andrew into filming their descent into a strange hole they've discovered in a field, Andrew diligently follows, even after they touch a weird glowy object and start to develop super powers.

Yes, it's Blair Witch with superheroes. It's an origin story from the eyes of the developing. A unique twist on the genre, sure, and for the most part it works well. If you had an obsession with filming stuff and suddenly found you could move stuff with your mind, why wouldn't you want to film it? We see the whole scope of the development, from moving Lego around to playing pranks on the general public, right up to the final scenes where everything gets a bit crazy, yet awesome. Let's just say you shouldn't give the creepy disturbed kid super powers.

The performances for the most part are pretty good. Chronicle really creates a good feeling that everything that's taking place in front of the cameras is genuine, as long as you have the suspension of disbelief about the powers of course. Andrew's character development especially, while predictable, is very nicely handled, as he turns into quite a force to be reckoned with.

The only problem I really had with the movie is the very way in which it's filmed. Sure, it starts out with Andrew's personal video camera, and that's a cool idea that is well done, but after a while it becomes clear that seeing things through this one camera is not enough, even if Andrew is moving it around with his mind to create all sorts of random shooting angles. So by the end there are just countless cameras thrown into the mix for no particular reason, just so they can get some different shots of the action, and of course there's always a camera out there that captures the good stuff, and it's all been seamlessly edited together like most found footage actually would. I think not.

Still, that's my only quibble, and for the most part I really enjoyed Chronicle. There are a lot of good ideas that make for some really cool scenes, and despite being just under an hour and a half, the sense of scale is pretty immense considering the events that occur. Hopefully they focus on all the right things for the sequel.

My rating: 4/5

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