If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Andrew (Dane Deehan) has just purchased a used camera for the sake of filming his life. Andrew takes the camera with him everywhere filming everything he does, much to the displeasure of his cousin Matt (Alex Russel). Through the lens of the camera you get to see all the facets of Andrew's life, from his mom being sick and dying (from cancer presumably) to his abusive ex firefighter dad who drinks a lot. Despite Andrews hesitations Matt convinces him to come to a party in an old school out in the woods. Later that night as Andrew is about to leave, Steve (Michael B. Jordan) runs up and tells Andrew that Matt and him have found something in the woods and that they want Andrew to film it. Upon discovering the hole in the ground the boys venture further to encounter some strange crystal like thing. Cut forward some time and the three have developed meta human abilities and are only getting stronger.
Add Chronicle to the list of movies that did found footage right. The film does not use the style as a gimmick but rather as an extension of the story itself. Both of which would fall by the wayside if the script had not been up to par. Luckily though the story and dialogue within it are one of the major factors that make this a great film. I had not previously been aware of Max Landis, but I will be following what he writes from now on. The interactions between these three friends is so realistic it is almost unnerving the level of pathos you can have for these characters and ultimately the villain. As well as the fact that Chronicle is set in Washington and the climax takes place in Seattle just allowed me to connect with the characters in a different way. Coinciding with the tone of Chronicle are the special effects. Not so show-offy but when they need to pay off they do in a big way. There are two problems I have with Chronicle on a whole one of which branches off of the other. The total running time of Chronicle is 88 minutes which once you get swept up by the story and the characters is kind of a let down. Andrew does have his own problems which you understand lead him to what he becomes but to little time was spent getting there. Combined with the lack of character development much less character of the romantic interest for Matt. She just kind of shows up coincidentally carrying a camera as well and flirts for a few seconds. Before you know it suddenly Matt and her are dating and he knows her family well enough to be friends with the little brother. Both of these complaints however could solve themselves if the movie had been maybe 20-30 minutes longer.
I desperately hope people are not put off by the idea of the characters gaining super powers and just give Chronicle a pass on that merit. Otherwise those people would be missing one of the truly better and original films out there today. Full Price