Movie Review: “Chronicle”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 12:00 am.

(Photo: Courtesy Adam Schroeder Productions)

Summary: After three nosy teens find a radioactive hole, they are given unexplainable powers of flight and telekinesis. However, the resident “nerd” of the group, who is constantly bullied, lets his powers get the best of him.

Review: Teens with superpowers is no new concept: examples include X-Men, Heroes and one of the originals, Carrie. Unlike those imaginative flicks, Chronicle is a rehashing of everything we’ve seen before, it’s almost good and almost bad, but not without moments of entertainment. Directed by Josh Trank and written by Max Landis, the 20th Century Fox film struggles to take flight — it could be the overused Blair Witch Project-style of a hand-held cam or the cumbersome special effects that looked like with each passing the scene they were running out of money. By the end of the short 83 minutes, the result is a disappointingly mediocre film that needed some serious creative superpowers versus relying on docu-style gimmicks and trite morality tales.

Chronicle is the type of movie you walk out of and say, “Well, it could’ve worked if they did this,” or “If they only would’ve tried this.” For example, the lead actors (Dane DeHann, Alex Russell and the up-and-coming Michael B. Jordan), have great chemistry. However, their characters are shallow with ridiculous shifts — within five minutes the nerd goes from shy geek to a Magneto-type madman terrorizing the hometown of Starbucks.

Also, references to blogs and “chronicling” life on an HD cam soaks the Chronicle.  Yes, the youth of today might be obsessed with documenting every detail of their lives, but it’s implausible that anyone would be that camera-hungry (unless you’re Paris Hilton) to film as they are about to rob a gas station or fall to their death in a car that is being thrown across the skies of Seattle.  If it didn’t work for Cloverfield, it certainly is an epic fail for Chronicle.

Chronicle had tons of potential and who knows how well it will perform at the box office. There were moments of genuine talent in the work of the director, writer and actors. Overall, Chronicle was a film we have seen too many times, and done much better. One plus: It wasn’t in 3D!

Chronicle is in theaters now.

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nathan Said on

I think Clay Cane is right on the money on this one. I am sooo tired of mediocre movies getting 85 to 90% ratings, when we all know that teenagers are doing the reviewing. No offense to teens, but unless u are in that age bracket, your tastes in film are probably different. My 17 yr old niece loved it. But me and my sister who are in our early 30’s thought it was mediocre at best. It is a interesting movie up until “Steven” dies, then it veers down the same old path of the abused teenager in the broken home flipping out. This might appeal to teens, but to me it is the usual hollywood tripe that shows a lack of effort in the story writing process. One more thing, what was the point of the blondie in the movie filming things at various events? Her character had no point in the movie whatsoever. If you are going to introduce characters in a movie, give me a reason to care. Its called “characterazation”. So in conclusion, If you are over the age of 18 you will probably be dissapointed, and no matter how many lame ass Tyler Perry disses and BET snubs the other reviewers throw out there, this is a Bulls Eye review by the contributor.

Ben Said on

I couldn’t disagree more. Chronicle was one of the best found footage film ever. It was and by far the freshest spin on the “superhero genre I’ve seen so far. Btw I way over 18. I found it to be an excellent character study in that the chracters acted like real teens and behaved the way real teens would behave if gifted with super power. The dialogs felt genuine and there were no costumes and villains hatching sinister plots. Just an extremely troubled kid pushed to the breaking point. If you replaced the super powers with a cache of guns then you would have a meditation on how a “Columbine” situation may have gone down. It’s not just kid critics responding positively to this film it’s most of the top critics too. This is my kind of super hero movie as it’s more about character than costumes, gadgets and evil villains hellbent on world domination. Do yourself a favor and see this movie!