I just finished the movie Chronicle. I had heard the reviews were lukewarm at best at first with a few singing its praises as exceptional.

Now, first off, I may post spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen it so proceed with caution.

With that taken care of, let’s get down to the goods.

The is based around three tens finding something strange and then gaining extraordinary powers, as time goes on they basicaly become superhuman. Steve, the popular kid. Matt the inbetweener who gets along with everyone and is popular but not overly so, and Andrew, the misfit outcast of his school. The story follows as these three deal with the growing reality of their power and how to use it.

When I started this movie I went into it with the mindset that it would be like other teenager based movies. So it came as a surprise when it opened with an emotional one two punch.

I knew from the commercials that the character of Andrew went off the rails. And from the first 15 minutes it became clear the kid had every reason to feel alone. He has a dying mother, a lazy abusive drunken father and everyone thinks he is a dream.

Even his cousin, Matt, thinks he is kind of a freak. But still gives him rides to school and gives him some advice. He even convinces him to go to a party and try to improve his outlook, make friends and be more outgoing.

I forgot to mention that its made in the newly popular found footage format that many films are made in these days. Andrew buys a cheap camera and starts to chronicle his life, hence the title for the film.

Matt convinces Andrew to go to this party but suggests he not take the camera, which is a piece of advice he ignores. It leads to one piece of bad luck after another, and eventually Andrew is embarrassed and sent outside crying.

Enter Steve who wants Andrew to follow him and record something wierd him and Matt found. Andrew reluctantly follows and they find a huge hole in the ground. They venture into this obviously unnaturally made hole and find some wierd giant glowing thing. Cue some lights and shaky camera work and a wee bit later the guys have powers. A good bit of the film from here is them exploring what they can do as well as more background into what Andrew deals with.

By the end of this film I was stunned at how well it came off. This could have been another Hancock crapola superhero story but it wasn’t.

It shows Andrew pushed emotionally behind his limits and the fact that he decides his power allows him to do whatever he deems necessary to fix things in his life.

With those limits reached, we see the birth of a villain.

This film did an origin story right. The final action sequence of this film is amazing. They really could have extended this idea over several films had they chosen too with a clear Hero and Villain.

I, again, was impressed mightily with this film and recommend to fans of the Superhero genre.


One thought on “Chronicle”

  1. I watched this movie a couple of months ago. Being a comic book artist myself, and a comic book reader and collector for over fifty years I was really impressed by this movie. Of course one has to get used to the “suspension of disbelief” when you try to believe that EVERYTHING is being filmed by the one kid. But they pull it off quite well. As you said, the visceral and emotional impact of watching this poor tortured kid become a Super-Villain because of the immense power is really what makes the movie work. The “heroes” two football/sports jocks, handsome Clark Kent types are too “reluctant” they never go so far as to use their powers for good. Which is a comment on today’s modern society. When I was a boy, if you got superpowers (in the comics) you just used them for good. It was a natural step. Now with the rise of Batman movies heroes are more reluctant, more divided in themselves over what is good and bad, right or wrong. They seem immature. But that is the point with Chronicles. They are all too immature to be certifiable “Heroes” and they don’t have the impetus. Andrew just wants to be loved. And the hero abilities just make him even more freakish, and lonely. The experiment of giving them super powers seems to fail…until the end, when we see what I think is the birth of a real Superman in Andrew’s friend, Matt.


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