Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan, Michael Kelly, Ashley Hinshaw and Anna Wood
Have you every dreamed about flying, telekinesis and the ability to stop a bullet? Dumb question, of course you have. Getting to class would be a breeze. Grabbing the remote wouldn’t be a problem. There is also the possibility of using it for good and becoming some sort of superhero.
Even though a different kind of superhero movie gets released every three to six months, “Chronicle” is an entertaining shift from the norm. The story follows the life of Andrew, a lonely introvert with an alcoholic father and a dying mother. He adopts a camera as a friend and films everything. The only one who still notices Andrew is his cousin Matt who has become too cool for him despite being close when they were younger.
Matt drags Andrew to a crazy high school party one night. While Matt is off in the woods with his friend Steve, the most popular kid in school, they stumble upon a strange-looking hole. They rush back and grab Andrew to film the event. They are drunk and decide to climb inside. There they find a glowing crystal. I’m not spoiling anything when I tell you that the crystal gives them superhuman powers. (I mean, you know they have superpowers already. It’s not very important how they got them.)
This new power allows them to control objects with their mind. They find that they can catch baseballs, move cars and fly without lifting a finger. Andrew is the only one who takes his powers seriously and quickly outshines the others in ability.
“Chronicle” takes place from the lens of Andrew’s camera. This “shaky camera” method for shooting the movie helps make it much better. The best example of a previous shaky camera shooting style is “Paranormal Activity,” which gives the audience the perspective that it was shot from a camera held by the main character. This method of shooting a film can be risky. Too much jostling and movement with the camera can give the audience motion sickness. At the same time, it can help give the audience the unique perspective of feeling like they are alongside the main characters. At times the shaky camera is a bit much and the screen flies around, disorienting viewers. Other times the audience can almost feel the sensation of flying alongside the main characters, which differentiates it from other superhero movies.
The high school scenery was a bit much for me. There were the “Hollywood” high school parties that took place in a mansion, had the booze flowing and had 25-year-old actresses dancing seductively, which again is a bit much for me. The high school scene did go with the plot, but it was so lavish and unrealistic that it distracted me at times. The production value of the movie also showed itself a little bit. The scenes were noticeably production sets at times, and the CGI could have been improved significantly. These flaws aren’t deal breakers, but if you find yourself demanding CGI perfection like a Michael Bay film, as I sometimes do, it may bother you.
There are a few plot holes, but the movie is easily understandable. Watching the characters learn and control their power of telekinesis had me daydreaming about what I would do if I were in the same situation.