Monday, February 6, 2012
CHRONICLE is a reinvention of the found footage genre or better yet a new sub-genre we can call Point of View footage. I'm actually fine with labeling it as none of these things and just look at it as a fresh and new narrative device in movies.
After encountering a strange glowing object in a deep underground cave high schoolers Andrew, Matt, and Steve discover they have telekinetic powers which allow them to move objects with their mind. After practicing honing these new found skills with juvenile stunts and pranks, the boys realize their power is like a muscle and it's only getting more powerful.
The three of them master the ability but Andrew seems to be the most powerful one. Out of the three I got the impression he was the only one that truly embraced his new found gift. I think this is why he becomes more powerful than his friends but the movie never really explains why? Matt and Steve never take their power for granted per say but to them it's more about being able to do something cool that no one else can do. Andrew on the other hand believes he has become the next step in evolution, a new kind of Apex Predator.
My favorite part of CHRONICLE is when it essentially becomes a live action version of the Japanese anime AKIRA. All the ingredients are here – unbridled power, teenage angst, a bullied life, and a friendship put to the ultimate test as one friend tries to save the other from destroying himself and others. Another thing I enjoyed was how focused the story was on it's characters and how the phenomenal but minimal special effects took a back seat. This is important because when CHRONICLE becomes about blowing stuff up it feels legitimate because we actually care about what's happening between Andrew and Matt.
It was refreshing to see the filmmakers take a unconventional route with the comic book/superhero found footage genre tale. And what a excellent feature film debut from director Josh Trank! If 20th Century Fox is seriously wanting to reboot the Fantastic Four franchise then Josh should be the first guy and the only guy on their list for the job.