Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, Ashley Hinshaw and Bo Petersen

Josh Trank

Running Time:
83 mins

Out to buy on Blu-Ray/DVD 28/05/12

Review by Jordan Taylor

‘Oh wow, look, a nerd with a camera!’

High school nerd Andrew Detmer (DeHaan) begins documenting his life via video recorder, capturing the findings of a suspicious hole in the woods with his cousin Matt Garetty (Russell) and Steve Montgomery (Jordan). After exploring the hole and finding a large crystal object, the trio begin to realise soon after that they have obtained telekinetic powers, giving them the ability to move things with their minds, move with amazing speed and can fly. As the trio becomes stronger, in their powers and their friendship, Matt and Steve soon begin to realise that all is not right with Andrew and that the power might be going to his head.

Like so many of films over the last few years, the found footage, hand-held camera was bound to finally hit the superhero/action film. Straying away from the horror genre, ‘Chronicle’s hand-held camera presents us with a personal and ‘human’ insight into the forming of the superheroes and their amazing powers.

A change from the action packed and patriotic superheroes seen so often in Hollywood, ‘Chronicle’ offers a change in the stereotype and brings it home to the 21st century. We see high school boys using their powers for fun and selfish reasons, instead of fighting off evil in a vigilante-style spandex suits and masks.

High school nerd Andrew begins documenting his lonely life via his video recorder, meanwhile Andrew’s cousin, Matt, invites him to a rave in an attempt to encourage him to meet people and make friends. Feeling like an outsider still, Andrew waits outside until he is approached by popular student, Steve, and he and Matt are encouraged to film and explore a hole in the ground in the nearby woods, which emits loud noises. Whilst exploring the hole they discover a large crystal object that begins to glow red and lets out a high pitched noise. Weeks later the trio discover powers that they have gained telekinetic powers, which becomes like a new muscle in their bodies, which they must work at in order to become more powerful.

‘Chronicle’ offers more than a patriotic acceptance of heroic responsibility, but instead gives us a modern take on today’s culture: the boys use their powers for fun and plan to use them only for themselves and each other. With ‘Chronicle’ we have lost the vigilante ‘good guys’ and are instead confronted by teenage angst and paranoia. Although the found footage filming is the main attraction of the film, it tends to forget, especially towards the end, that it is meant to be a ‘documented’ series of events and not the end to a typical epic superhero battle, where the villain and the hero battle it out in the big city, destroying buildings whilst on-comers can only watch, though this is only a small flaw in this almost flawless film.

For those that like superheroes and action, this film is a must see. The new and modern take on the ‘superhero’ creates a more life-like image and can relate to its teenage audience. For all you other sceptics, it’s still worth a watch as the film also employs drama, comedy and sci-fi, adding a little extra for those not fans of action – a definite must see.

Jordan Taylor

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