Let me start by making one thing clear:  Chronicle is not like the Covenant with kids who have telekinesis instead of magic powers.  This point is important because I was not really looking forward to seeing what I thought was a rehash of that annoying movie.  Yet again, the marketing is just a little off, and it may hurt the film at the box office.

 

 

 

 

Chronicle is what’s known as a “found footage” film.  I happen to be a fan of this genre….when it’s handled well.  I liked Cloverfield, but I couldn’t stand the Blair Witch Project.  This style of filmmaking is generally either used well or a complete disaster; there’s not much of a gray area.  Found footage films all have one major issue – they make some people queasy.  It’s hard to look at that much camera shakey, run away from the monster in the intermittent light footage when it’s stuck on a huge screen in front of one’s face.  Chronicle actually found a good way to relieve the stress on one’s inner ears – one of the kids teaches himself to hold the camera in place using telekinesis, which also allows for some nice panning and zooming in and out.  It’s a nice break in between the more nausea-inducing scenes.

 

Interesting plot, although it seems to take a little while to get going.  Nice, light handed use of special effects.  Good use of the found footage style.

 

This film takes a lot of comic book themes, tones them down, and sticks them into a situation with pretty believable actions and reactions from the three boys.  What teenage boys with telekinesis wouldn’t want to throw a football around with his friends in the clouds?  Play a few pranks on some strangers?  Show off by pretending they’re magicians?

 

Also fairly believable is the atmosphere of the high school the boys attend.  Yes, there is the stereotypical high school party that almost no one ever actually throws in real life.  But there is also a bully who doesn’t do incredibly overblown crap, and the boy filming most of what happens is pretty easy to relate to.  Yes, Unpopular Boy finds himself with superpowers, but so do his cousin and  Super Popular Guy, and they start to hang out together, throwing the social atmosphere of high school for a pretty big loop.  But the boys also has to react to the problems created by the situation.  It’s something that will probably touch a nerve with anyone who’s tried to navigate high school.

 

These social problems deserve to be discussed, but I’m going to save that for later.  Go see the movie.  Go see it now.  Then we can talk about it.