Review: Chronicle

02 Feb 12

Rivetingly alternate superhero yarn

I'll be the first to admit that going into this Flicks preview, I wasn't expecting Chronicle to be all that great. The trailers hadn't really done much for me and I worried that the film would struggle to engage lovers of the genre, like myself.

Happily I was proven wrong. This is an immensely enjoyable sci-fi with a young director and cast set for big futures.

Centred around three high school students who develop powers of tele-kinesis, the film follows Andrew, a nerdy loner with a camera to document everything he sees. Alongside sporty cousin Matt and prospective class president Steve, we see the trio coming to terms with their growing strength whilst pushing the limits of morality and taste.

The hand-held aesthetic offers a refreshing alternative and allows for unique insights into Andrew's world. There are plenty of humorous moments in the immediate aftermath of the group gaining their powers to cater to a wide audience.

There are a some negatives though. Elements of the plot are predictable and occassionaly ill-conceived, such as the scenarios involving his sick mother and abusive father. The reliance on a camera being present throughout (even when Andrew isn't there) also stretches the imagination past believable limits.

At times it feels like the film is flying along at such speed (if you'll pardon the pun) that the main character's developments aren't being fully explained. However these are minor gripes which are quickly forgotten by the end of the third act.

If rumours are to be believed, and Josh Trank is set for 'Fantastic' future projects, then one viewing of the epic finale will have all comic book fans salivating at the prospect. With only $15 million to work with, Trank has created action and effects which wouldn't look out of place in big budget summer blockbusters. Casting young actors with few film credits to their name ties in well with the nature of this kind of hand-held adventure (similar to Cloverfield and Blair Witch).

Stylistic, thought-provoking and more than anything, a crowd pleaser which deserves to make ten times it's production budget.