Chronicle: a new direction in super hero films

Chronicle: a new direction in super hero films

Rey Carpio, Staff Writer

The craze behind superhero movies has lasted 12 years since X-Men was released in 2000. Finally we have a realistic look on what average people would really do when given superpowers. Chronicle was released on February 3rd and received positive reviews but is it worth your eight bucks to see? I saw Chronicle expecting a great story to be played out amongst terrible teenage actors that I had never heard of before and to watch a great idea for a movie go down the drain. Luckily, the acting and the story were both fantastic.

Chronicle is classified as a “Found Footage” film which in short, is when a character in the film is holding the camera and the footage they caught has been found and is being shown to us audiences. “Found Footage” films such as Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity Series have been some of the most notable ones. The main character, Andrew, owns a camera and claims he wants to simply document everything. He is a teenager with a mother bedridden with illness and an abusive father. The harsh life this boy has experienced makes you feel that he has a pent up rage inside him. Andrew’s cousin invites him to a party where outside, he, his cousin, and his cousin’s best friend, find an extraordinary meteor in the middle of a field. Within weeks, it is revealed the three have obtained superhuman powers from touching this meteor such as telekinesis.

If the average “Joe” or in this case the average teen obtained superpowers, it is highly unlikely the first thing he would do is put on a cape and fight crime. In this way, Chronicle is extremely realistic and believable. When these kids first get their powers, they have fun with them like most kids would. They go around playing pranks on people and having a great time with their newfound abilities but this isn’t a fun comedy. It is at heart a dramatic action movie and the transition between fun and serious is great, as it goes from silly horsing around to the division of good and evil.

The film focuses on Andrew who is much more powerful than the other two teenagers for an unknown reason. The character of Andrew is who keeps you on the edge of your seat. He has been abused by his father and picked on by bullies all his life and with these powers. Now he is given the chance finally do some damage but in what way will he exert these abilities? In the end, this movie ultimately becomes a battle between good and evil which is all you can ask for in a superhero movie.

As far as acting, everyone was on top of their game, especially the main actor, Dane Dehaan, who played Andrew. Although rather unknown, his performance delivers. The writing didn’t at all disappoint making an extraordinarily believable story that you’re completely invested in. The Director made great use of the “Found Footage” aspect. He didn’t only use the main character’s camera as what we see but he also used a variety of security cameras and cell phone cameras. At one point, the Director constantly switches our point of view every few seconds, and he does a great job handling the idea. In that way the movie transitions from “Found Footage” to a cinematic viewpoint and that, in and of itself, is a great idea directing-wise. This movie had a small budget of $15 million but the numerous special effects do not at all disappoint, such as a scene where the characters attempt to fly. I will give Chronicle 4 out of 5 stars and can’t wait to pick it up on blu-ray. I think it’s a great film that you should rush to your theater to see.