Rated PG-13: For underage drinking, violence, supernatural activity and sexual scenes.
When debating last Saturday night whether to go and see the enhanced version of the well-known movie series, Star Wars, or the 83-minute long movie about a few kids who gain super powers by going into the ground, I decided, what the heck, I’ll go for a different type of movie. And boy, was this a different movie.
Chronicle, starring Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan, starts with the main character, Andrew (DeHaan), setting up his camcorder and stating that, from then on, he will document his whole life. The audience hears bangs and shouts from outside the door from an abusive father and then immediately discovers a dying mother. After being forced by some other high school seniors like himself, he reluctantly goes down into a cave-like hole that leads some 20 to 40 feet into the ground. The next time we see them, three high school students are experimenting with newfound super powers.
Because Andrew is documenting his life, almost the entire film took place on his personal camera, with a few exceptions of scenes that were filmed on other convenience store or news helicopter cameras. The one downside to this was the fact that the audience needed to get used to the shakiness of the camera at points during the movie. But the formatting of the movie seemed to enhance the drama at points. When displaying their powers by flying five miles up into the air above the clouds, the camera is with them, which makes it unique, interesting, and intense to watch.
The movie does not feature a big star such as George Clooney or Robert Downey, Jr., but rather a group of relatively unknown actors. Frankly, I think that’s exactly what the movie needed. They allowed for the characters to be drawn out more creatively and originally, without the audience’s preconceived notions that might accompany a big star’s performance.
Chronicle was one of the most original and captivating movies that I have seen all year. The movie was made for 15 million dollars, and ended up being shy of 90 minutes. While at points the plot seemed a little dragged out and unfocused, the majority of the scenes seemed to catch the attention of the audience, and me as well. The characters were easy to laugh with and relate to. And, although the ending was a bit overdramatic, it was still one of the best films I have seen all year.
Overall Grade: A-
Featured image courtesy of filmofilia.com.