Considering I hate every “found-footage” movie (with the exception of Cloverfield), I expected to loathe Chronicle – but it quickly revealed its fairly unique hand and reeled me in.
Chronicle features the (supposed) video diaries of Andrew, an aspiring filmmaker who’s constantly bullied at high school. Without a single friend, his cousin Matt takes him under his wing and forces him to be social. While his constant filming is usually offsetting to others, when Matt drags Andrew to a rave in the woods outside Seattle, the camera comes in handy. You see, Matt and his friend Steve have found something in the forest that’s worth documenting – an odd cave.
When the three follow the cave’s tunnels, they find a giant glowing crystal not unlike that of Superman’s “Fortress of Solitude.” The result of them coming in contact with this mysterious alien object is limitless.
Before long, the trio realizes that they’ve obtained super powers. As they learn to stretch their new muscles, the sky literally becomes the limit.
What makes Chronicle fun is that it stays fairly true to life – aside from the whole super powers part. Our three leads act exactly how a group of immature teenage boys would if they inherited these abilities. If this happened to me and my friends in our adolescence, we would have reacted exactly like Andrew, Matt and Steve.
Where it doesn’t work so well is in the third act. As the film progresses, it’s obvious that we’re seeing superheroes in the making – but, of course, all three can’t be expected to stay good and one turns into a supervillain. The road to villainy isn’t strong enough to warrant such evil behavior. Bullied kids are known to lash out, but wanting to kill anyone and everyone who stands in his path without remorse is a bit too strong a reaction in too short a time. The final act crumbles, but doesn’t completely fall apart.
Much better than I expected, Chronicle feels like a decent start to a potentially fun new franchise. If I had to see one new movie this weekend, it would be Chronicle.