Marcus Reviews Chronicle

3 Feb

Synopsis:

Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over.

What I Liked:

Since the “found footage” style of film making usually focuses more on the format than the movie itself I was worried that Chronicle would follow suit and just be a gimmick. To my pleasant surprise though Josh Trank (the director) never let the format define the movie and really took his time crafting a well made film.

Kudos to Max Landis for the writing in this. The script in this movie was surprisingly intelligent and dark while still seamlessly blending in some genuinely funny comedic moments to bring some levity to the film. There was so much clever use of foreshadowing that I found myself smirking to myself every time I caught on to what they were getting at.

For a movie that only had a budget of 15 million (which is not much at all in Hollywood standards) this movie looks amazing. Due to a small budget they wisely decided to make everything more realistic and practical to hide the fact that they didn’t have alot to work with. You could tell that they really took some time out to figure out clever and innovative ways to make everything work and it really comes together nicely

The acting by the three lead roles (Michael B. Jordan, Alex Russell & Dane Dehaan) is strong all around and really had great on screen chemistry. You could tell that they’d spent some time getting to know each other because it never seemed like they were just actors portraying friends, they honestly seemed close. It also helps that the characters were all well written and well developed. I found myself really caring about these guys and their well being.

Speaking of the acting, while Jordan and Russell were both really good, it was Dehaan that really carried this movie and gave it it’s heartbreaking core. Partially because his character (Andrew) was the darkest character and partially because his performance was so raw and honest; Dane was impossible to ignore when he was on screen, especially after he began his descent into darkness. Without his tragic character the final act of the film could’ve been ridden off as pure mindless mayhem, but thanks to him there’s an emotional weight that makes it all seem really important.

I love the fact that this movie never proclaims itself as a “Superhero” movie. There are no heroes, costumes or capes, just 3 teenagers in a transition period of their lives who just so happen to gain superpowers. They never let the powers overshadow the characters themselves and I appreciate that.

Unlike most movies that share this format, Chronicle actually had a clear cut ending which I find refreshing. While there are still some unanswered questions that could lead to a sequel down the line, the way it ended gave us enough closure to move on with our lives if there isn’t one in the works.

What I Didn’t Like:

I honestly can’t really think of anything that I didn’t like about this movie. It was everything that I’d hoped it to be and then some. If there was any gripe I had with it it’s that I’m still very curious about the origins of that crystal that gave them the powers. If they were to ever do a sequel to this movie I’d want them to focus on Matt finding out the secrets behind that.

Overall:

To date, Chronicle is the best movie of the “found footage” variety to ever be made. It mixes strong acting, relatable characters, great pacing, intelligent scripting, innovative camerawork and a refreshing concept to churn out one of the best superpower based movies that I’ve ever seen. There is no doubt in my mind that this will end up being a sleeper hit (much like Limitless around this time last year) and since pretty much everyone in this movie is a young talent, this would really launch their respective careers into the stratosphere. I’d be on the look out for Josh Trank & Max Landis (both first timers in Hollywood) because after this you’re definitely gonna be seeing alot of them. Do yourself a favor, grab some friends and go check this movie out. I guarantee that you’ll have alot of fun.

Rating: A-

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