February 5, 2012
Review - " Chronicle " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Josh Trank
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Michael Kelly, Anna Wood, Alex Russell,
Ashley Hinshaw, Joe Vaz, Luke Tyler, Matthew Dylan Roberts
What happens when three teenage boys find themselves with super
powers? Probably not what you think. Chronicle is a smart,
thrilling movie that will surprise you.
“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Uncle Ben from
the 2002 SPIDER-MAN film. In CHRONICLE, the “responsibility”
becomes a necessity, and we see why. From the opening scene,
which is black, it sets the tone and introduces us to one of our
first character, Andrew (Dane DeHaan) as he literally chronicles his
day to day life with an old video camera. Soon, we see his
abusive life to meeting his more stable cousin Matt (Alex Russell),
and then, later on, Steve (Michael B. Jordan), a jock who
became a part of the nuclei trio, as they stumbled into an
underground hole and found themselves with superpowers afterward.
Dane DeHaan plays Andrew, a nerdy teenage boy suffering more
than his fair share of teen angst. Dealing with an abusive father and
terminally-ill mother makes Andrew decide to chronicle his life on
video, as if to help distance himself from the daily misery
that now takes place though a lens. Everything changes however,
when his cousin Matt, played by Alex Russell, and friend Steve,
super hottie Michael B. Jordan, find a mysterious underground cave.
A transformation takes place in the cave, somehow imbibing the
teens with physical powers only heard of in comic books. But Chronicle isn't your typical super hero tale. It goes much
deeper than a mere story about a few kids who can fly. Chronicle asks the moral question: If you had super powers, would
you use them only for good? For Andrew, finding the answer isn't so easy.
The teens begin to explore their new powers
innocently enough. Teddy bears that float off store
shelves and leaf blowers that make a girl's skirt fly
up is all fun and games, until they perform in a talent
show doing "magic tricks" that are quite spectacular.
Andrew, previously shunned by the school's "in
crowd," is now suddenly promoted to rock star status.
Girls start pursuing him, but his social awkwardness
and insecurity reveal he isn't the cool guy he
appeared to be. Withdrawing from his friends,
Andrew's newfound abilities begin to bring out his
dark side. Discovering his powers are like a muscle
and can be strengthened with use, he hones his
skills, quickly transforming from a nerdy kid into a
formidable predator — resulting in tragic
Chronicle stars three little-known actors who will surely be moving into the limelight. Dane DeHaan carries the film like a pro.
Seen previously on HBO's In Treatment, DeHaan's steel blue eyes reveal Andrew as a troubled boy, securing our
sympathies and making us tremble when things start to go south. Playing Steve, Michael B. Jordan is a true talent, with the
looks and charisma of a young Denzel Washington. Alex Russell does an excellent job as the hot jock with a soul. The
ensemble of these three actors creates fireworks on film.
“Chronicle” is a well done film that takes you into the life of a hurting and struggling boy. The found footage format is well
done, creating a fun, exciting, and unique feel to the film. The action scenes are remarkable, along with a terrific cast and
script. The film doesn’t waste time to explain itself or bog the audience down with boring “explaining” scenes. Chronicle is
fast paced and a completely thrilling ride. The last 20 minutes are jaw dropping.
Not your average teen flick, Chronicle will thrill
you as much as it will move you.
I liked how original this movie was—a really
fresh take on the superhero genre. The acting
was all very real and believable, and the
effects were great, without taking away from
the home-movie feel.