‘Chronicle’ Movie Review with Video Clips

by Eric Melin on February 4, 2012

in Reviews,Video Reviews

This review originally appeared in shorter form on KSNT-NBC, KTKA-ABC, and KTMJ-FOX, Kansas First News.

chronicle-movie-poster-2012Chronicle is a clever new movie about three high school kids who suddenly get superpowers after coming in touch with something that is clearly not of this world.

What makes Chronicle different from every other superhero movie out there is that it’s presented as found footage, meaning it’s supposedly filmed by the teenagers, their friends, and existing security cameras. The movie has to cheat every now and then to cover the story more fully (who has edited all this found footage together so perfectly?), but thank God it does because the film is richer for it.

Like it did in the one-camera-POV monster flick Cloverfield, this certainly adds realism to the film, so that when the boys began to develop their powers, it really feels like it’s happening right before eyes, and not like some fancy CGI effect.

First-time director Josh Trank, who co-wrote the story with Max Landis, do a good job of keeping the characters grounded and although there’s the expected amount of rambunctious behavior, they also grapple with the bigger picture of what their abilities mean.

chronicle-movie-2012How the different personalities of underprivileged outcast Andrew (Dane DeHaan), his armchair philosopher cousin Matt (Alex Russell), and class-president wannabee Steve (Michael B. Jordan) clash in the face of their new-found abilities forms the heart of the film.

The first three-quarters of Chronicle is pure escapism and a ton of fun. Where Chronicle sets itself apart from something like the Paranormal Activity series, however, is that it actually has a compelling, well-developed story to tell.

In Spider-Man, Uncle Ben may have said “With great power comes great responsibility,” but unless you’re Peter Parker that’s not always as easy as it seems. Chronicle ends up exploring the darker side of that quite successfully.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Ryan February 7, 2012 at 3:42 am

I completely underestimated this film. I’m shocked by it’s quality and placement on the release date calender. For a film the reminded me a lot of the anime classic “Akira”, I have to admit that Chronicle is no where near what I expected.

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