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Movie Review: Surprising CHRONICLE, is intense, gripping, and fresh

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Andrew isn’t a social guy, he doesn’t have many friends besides his cousin, who only hangs out with him once and a while. His father is an alcoholic who beats him, and his mother is dying of cancer. He takes refuge by creating a buffer in between he and other people when he begins to film everything, and a few nights after he attends a party where his life will be changed forever. He (Dane DeHaan), his cousin Matt (Alex Russell) and popular guy Steve (Michael B. Jordan) stumble upon a strange opening in the ground in the woods. When they climb into it they discover what appears to be a glowing, meteorite-like object. Days after coming in contact with it, they all begin to develop telekinetic powers.

Chronicle is another type of film that joins a growing list of shaky cam, hand-held footage movies, and fortunately it’s not another horror movie riding the coattails of Paranormal Activity. The cinematography is at times very unique and impressive, especially when the main character Andrew manipulates the camera using his telekinesis allowing the audience to get a better view of everything that’s going on without a character having to always hold it. The only issue that I had with it, was that some of the climatic action scenes towards the end had much less impact because it was so difficult to tell what was going on. This isn’t a problem in most other found footage movies, like Cloverfield, Quarantine, or The Blair Witch Project because there is little to no emphasis on action due to the fact that they are horror movies. The characters are often running away from the danger, and it gives you the feeling of escaping with them. Here, you want to see the action and what’s going on and it’s frustrating when you can’t quite make everything out. The premise for Chronicle alone is something that we haven’t seen before , and despite that it was a fun way to look at the characters as they were developing their powers I left the theater wondering if it needed to be shot in this style.

Since the movie is essentially somewhat of an origin story for a villain, I was glad to see that it was done so well. The beginning of the movie accurately depicts what teenage high school kids would most definitely do if they got super powers, and I can’t say there weren’t a few things that they did that I would not partake in. The main character Andrew is set up with legitimate reasons to be angry at the world and at the people around him; so when he loses it we understand his frustration, and feel what his friends are going through as they try to understand him and help him control himself. His friends are a couple of typical high school teens, while he (the main character) is a cynical, antisocial person who has become fed up with his own personal life and the world. Watching them turn against each other, and seeing Andrew’s true motivations for doing so is captured well. The final confrontation between the characters is that much more emotional and difficult to watch because of the development between them that we see throughout the film.

In a year that’s going to be filled to the brim with more superhero movies with bigger names, and popular heroes; you have to hope that a cool movie like Chronicle isn’t overlooked in the long run. Exciting, gripping, intense, and original; you shouldn’t miss it if you’re a fan of sci-fi or superhero films. I also couldn’t help but to think that these kids in the leading roles have a bright future in Hollywood; Dane DeHaan’s disturbed portrayal of Andrew was great, and at times he reminded me of a young Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s always refreshing to see a movie like this one that comes out of nowhere and surprises you.

Verdict: Must See! 4/5