If Boys Will Be Boys, Working On This Basis, Can Boys Not Be Boys?
Yo, this be Reuben. Back in 2012, a year with all sorts of crazy blockbusters including Skyfall, Avengers Assemble, The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Amazing Spider-Man (wowzerz, and the list goes on…), this particular film came around from beneath people’s noses with all kinds of shaky cam blazing and became somewhat of a hit. A lot of great films came out in that year, much more than we’ve been graced with in 2016, and I never managed to watch Chronicle until today, a thriller that mildly impressed a good portion of movie watchers. I, too, was mildly impressed.
It follows the story of three high school students, Andrew Detmer, Matt Garetty and Steve Montgomery in Seattle who gain telekinetic superpowers after exploring a mysterious underground cave on a night out. The three something-teens are brought together into an unlikely friendship, linking the shy and odd Andrew with the popular and outgoing Steve as they have unimaginable fun with their ridiculous abilities. However, when Andrew embraces his dark side with his powers, things start to spiral out of control and their friendship is tested (to the max).
It all starts when Andrew (the main character of the movie) begins filming everything in his life with his camera, and he is dragged into a party that eventually leads to the excitable exploration of said mysterious underground cave where weird shizzle happens and they come out being able to control the movement of objects without touching them – including, eventually, themselves, in a sense, as they fly around the joint. The problem is with the plot is, in the first half-an-hour or so, everything is a bit slow, and a bit boring. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t think the film was going to be that great when Andrew was slowly perving on cheer girls and walking around a bit. Even so, we get to learn more about Andrew, Matt and Steve as the film goes through this slow progression, and so although enjoyment factor is greatly crappified, the character development is given good time to grow.
Chronicle’s gradual and frankly boring progression, however, is followed by a (mostly) thrilling and fast-paced hour or so of sinister and bloody friendship tests, as the film introduces itself to a much higher entertainment medium. Things go from fun and goofy to dark and edgy (…THE EDGE IS FINE) in the flick of a switch around the half-hour mark when Andrew uses his powers to hospitalize some bloke in a truck.
With it’s shaky camerawork and dark undertones, Chronicle, I’d say, is a pretty cool film. Its found footage cinematography and its use of interesting premise help it to reach ‘pretty cool’ heights, along with its silent score and anti-protagonist Andrew. I’d call him that because he’s a douche, but he’s the guy who gets the most screen-time (like a protagonist) and I felt sorry for him because he sort of became a douche because of his long suffering at school and at home.
Something that is great about Chronicle is that it is completely honest, and there are no smoothed edges by the giant sandpaper in L.A; the fact it is means that the characters’ actions can be easily relatable, and the dialogue, school bullying and action sequences can be fittingly brutal — which in turn means the film has the power to control your emotions as the viewer, because everything you see you can believe. However, the trolling by the teenage trio when they first obtain their powers is fun, but doesn’t utilize that aforementioned ability to give you these emotions, because unfortunately I wasn’t pushed to hysterics. There is also a slightly tacked on romance (of sorts) between Matt and some girl, which I didn’t care much about, and there is a slightly lacklustre ending.
Even so, the more sinister and violent side of the film is immense, as the bloody climax is thrilling, and not at all overblown like one of Marvel’s shiny-fests. I got over the fact that it got a bit ridiculous towards the end, because it was more intense than anything I’ve seen in a while, and the cool factor was pushed to awesome with all the super-charged explosions and telekinetic terrorism. Andrew changed from a weird kid in some corner to a demi-god from the timid start to the explosive finish, and that progression saw the incredible climax it needed. The other two of the three super-powered mates also saw fantastic character development through the run-time, as Micheal B. Jordan and the bunch put across believable and genuine performances, and were helped by a brutally honest script (get that sandpaper away from me, Zak Snyder!).
Chronicle is also a film that gets you thinking. It’s not just a few teenagers flying around. The dark side’s vicious admission makes you question the human soul and underlines how easy it is for someone to turn on their conscience, whilst also reminding you of the power of friendship and all dat. I apologize for the rubbishy analytical turn this review took. Let’s go back to basics.
Chronicle isn’t perfect, but it manages to push its flaws aside. It totally redeems itself with its brilliantly intense atmosphere, relatable characters and brutal realism on show, all delivered through unique camerawork and nailed down with a solid premise.
Bringing redundant opinions for scrollers everywhere,