'Chronicle' More Than a Hand-Held Gimmick Movie

“Chronicle” is the kind of movie that shouldn’t work, at least not for anyone over the age of fifteen, but it does. It is a movie about three teenagers who develop super powers and if that plot doesn’t sound lame to you then you would enjoy anything. Still the way this movie is developed and carried through is a study in how to make a successful film.

Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan) is a troubled teenager. His mother is dying of cancer and his father is abusive to him. He has no friends except for his cousin Matt (Alex Russell). Plus he calls ridicule down upon himself by filming anything and everything that happens in his life. In short life is not good for Andrew.

Things do change for the better when Andrew, Matt and Matt’s friend Steve (Michael B Jordan) find a hole in the ground that leads to a cavern. In the cavern is some type of glowing rock which is unlike anything they have ever seen before. After they leave the cavern they find they have telekinetic powers.

The rest of the film explores their lives as they learn to harness and control these powers. They even learn to fly. But with the advent of all these powers comes a desire to use them in ways that are not always for the best. Andrew especially has trouble keeping the powers under control and to not use them to do things which complicate his life.

The special effects in this movie are seamless. Everything that is shown seems plausible. Watching three guys fly becomes an ordinary event. If the special effects were cheesy then the movie would be too.

The acting is also above average. All three of the “teen actors” make their characters totally acceptable. With a great script by Max Landis (director John Landis’ son) the words and actions of the three teens seem to be what regular teens would do and say. DeHaan has the most complicated role but Russell and Jordan also add much to the film. Russell has an Ashton Kutcher flair about him while Jordan exudes likeability.

The film is rated PG-13 for violence and profanity.

The only negative about the movie is the use of the handheld camera. This gimmick started with “The Blair Witch Project” and has been done to death. It certainly adds nothing to the enjoyment of this movie and actually gets in the way of the entertaining factors.

Aside from this the movie is surprisingly effective and enjoyable. It is a shock that “Chronicle” holds its audience’s interest no matter what their age.

I scored “Chronicle” a super powered 7 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper www.jackiekcooper.com


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