REVIEW: 'Chronicle'

REVIEW: 'Chronicle'

REVIEW: 'Chronicle', Flicks.co.nz

3 stars

American independent film, relayed in 'found-footage' style (like Paranormal Activity or Blair Witch) about three mates who discover a mysterious substance that grants them superpowers. Now playing nationwide, click for movie times and trailer.

District 9 really has a lot to answer for. It raised the game for genre movies in a way very few movies have. The aesthetics and subject matter of Chronicle beg comparisons with Neill Blomkamp's 2009 masterpiece, and they don't benefit the new film greatly. That said, this is a nifty, watchable piece of wish-fulfilment entertainment with more than a couple of standout moments.

The question you inevitably ask in every found footage movie is: “Why are they still filming?” This film doesn't offer a particularly satisfying answer but it does provide a unique solution to the problem of these sorts of films always being shot in the first-person. It also features some of the coolest 'humans flying' action ever put on screen, and builds to an action climax that recalls Superman II.

The notion of three teenage boys using the power of telekinesis to have fun is irresistible, and this film gets a lot more mileage out of the idea than the 1982 Scott Baio classic Zapped!, but the ultimate feeling is of a resulting story that doesn't quite live up to its initial promise. The behaviour of the characters is never surprising, and is generally attributed to simplistic motivations. Plus the film optimistically throws up a lot of questions for the sequel (if there is one...) to answer.

If I sound like I'm nit-picking, it's only because I really wanted this to be amazing. As it stands, I'll have to settle for pretty good.

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