Quickie: Chronicle

ChronicleA group of three high school students discover a mysterious hole in the ground which, when they enter, gives them super powers. Over the course of the film, their powers develop, getting stronger and more varied, but as they do so, they struggle to cope with their new abilities.

With comic book adaptations meaning that superhero films are now an all too common sight in cinemas, Chronicle could easily just get swept away beneath an already saturated tide. However, this isn’t a superhero film at all, but more a realistic (or as realistic as you can get with such subject matter) examination of what might happen should some pretty regular kids with real problems suddenly have extraordinary abilities thrust upon them.

Chronicle is filmed in a shaky-cam, found footage style that has become rather popular over the last few years, with films such as Cloverfield basing their entire filming format around it. It works well enough in Chronicle but, as is often the case, it can become a little disorientating when things get a little more frantic. It also feels, at times, a little unnatural for people to be carrying cameras round at all times – almost a case of shoehorning this into the plot to continue the shaky-cam style throughout.

The three male leads are solid, with Andrew’s (Dane DeHaan) story taking more of a centre stage. With a rather modest run time, this does mean that the other two protagonists, and Steve’s (Michael B Jordan) in particular, feel a little underdeveloped. Despite this, Chronicle offers a decent big screen debut for director Josh Trank and is enjoyable and different enough to distinguish itself from more run of the mill films of a similar ilk.

Words: Chris Thomson

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10 thoughts on “Quickie: Chronicle

  1. Mark Walker says:

    Nice write-up Chris. I enjoyed this one myself. I didn’t expect to but it’s one of the better shaky-cam film’s.

  2. vinnieh says:

    Been meaning to watch this for ages, I will now. Great review of it.

  3. keith7198 says:

    I have found myself in the minority with this picture. I remember leaving the theater thinking “that’s all?”. My biggest problems were the utter predictability of everything that happens. You can see it all unfold right there in the first act. I also wasn’t a fan of the found footage approach – an approach that they seemed to lose control of later in the film. But, I’m alone on this one. Most people really have enjoyed it.

    • I completely agree they lost control of the found footage thing later on in the film, it seemed to jump all over the place and they were having to use security cameras and the like to carry on the style. It might have been a little predictable in terms of where it went, but I still thought it was pretty well done nevertheless.

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