May 25, 2012

Filthy Review - Chronicle

Chronicle (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

I am sure am at not alone when I say that film companies really need to tighten the reins when it comes to making their film previews. What we do want is a teaser that lures us in wanting to see more, of what hopefully will be a fun movie. What we don’t want is the movie condensed into 2 minutes. Chronicle does run very close to having the movie spoiled by having a very revealing preview. Still, that being said, it did do the trick and I was looking forward to checking out the movie.

Initial thoughts had me thinking that we were getting a couple of things, neither of which on the surface had the wow factor for me. The first being is that Chronicle looked to be another so-called “found footage” flick, which it isn’t. The second being that is was a movie about the geeky, and bullied, loner overcoming the odds to become popular, which to a degree it is. Both have been done before, but Chronicle actually turned out to be one of those occasions where the end product is actually better than the sum of its parts.

Andrew, who is the aforementioned loner, decides to chronicle his life via video camera. This entails him filming just about everything, from the abuse from his father to the bullying he receives at school on a regular basis. This annoying habit is not lost on his cousin, Matt, who would rather not have the camera in his face all of the time. Regardless, Matt invites Andrew to join him at a party, which turns out to be a rave.

Whilst at the party/rave the popular kid at school, Steve, finds Andrew and tells him that he wants him to come with him to film something, as they have found something cool in the nearby woods. Without going into too much detail, from here on in, what they find ends up having an amazing effect on the boys; they end up gaining superhero-like powers.

Chronicle can be viewed as an almost verite-style superhero origins kind of movie, which in effect it is, to a point. The kids test out their powers, which involve pulling pranks on folk for the most part, and getting progressively more powerful as they learn to use these powers more effectively. What the film was, to me anyway, was a tale of the abuse of power and even when you have good intentions at heart you can’t always get what you want.

What Chronicle does quite successfully is take a couple of tried and tested formulas, and come out with an exciting and fun flick. You get your laugh-out-loud moments, your wow moments and your "oh shit" moments, all in great abundance, even when you know where the film is going.

Visually the film is quite impressive, the video camera footage keeps the action in your face and the effects are pretty damned good, aside from when it is quite obvious that characters have wires attached to achieve a certain effect. Director Josh Trank has also employed a couple of cheeky techniques to avoid the film appearing too static with just the one camera; one of which being the inclusion of the character Casey, who also has a camera, as she is filing a video blog. The other effect you will have to see for yourself, but it is nicely done.

Overall Chronicle is a damned fun flick. I wasn’t too enamored with the finale, although I am sure there will be a sequel further down the road, and there were one or two glaring plot-holes to be found. Taken for what it is though, Chronicle was just a fun movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Chronicle is available on Blu-ray and DVD now from 20th Century Fox

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