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'Chronicle' movie review, trailer: Charts the rise and fall of new superheroes

chronicle020412_optBY JOHN SOLTES
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
MOVIE REVIEW

When you're young and dreaming of becoming a superhero, you probably tilt back and forth between heroism and villainy. It would probably be great to save the day, but total destruction has its high points as well.

Chronicle, a smart sci-fi thriller from director Josh Trank, looks at three high school students and their uneasy time adapting to new superhero powers. Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan), his cousin Matt Garretty (Alex Russell) and their best friend Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan) represent all the social stereotypes of teenage life. Andrew is a loner virgin. Matt is the good-looking pothead. Steve is the big man on campus and set to win the election for class president. John Hughes would be proud.

The three form an unlikely friendship that is highlighted by weekend beerfests and conversations about girls, girls, girls. Like any other movie depicting high school life, it's hard to believe these scenes are accurate, but Chronicle has the good sense of keeping this early exposition as fleeting as possible.

It's only after the three find a cavern in the middle of the woods that things begin to change. Some extraterrestrial power source underneath the earth causes the trio to experience unbelievable strength, the power to fly and the ability to move objects with the mind. chronicle_2_020412_opt

These being a bunch of immature high school students, Andrew, Matt and Steve do what boys do best: They begin a path of destruction. First they test out small experiments, like floating baseballs in the sky and dangling teddy bears above unsuspecting toddlers. Gradually they move into stronger, darker realms, and it becomes increasingly more difficult to hold back the powers.

Andrew, in particular, sees the additional strength as a chance to make retribution for his less-than-ideal home life. His beloved mother is dying, and the family can't afford her medication. His father abuses him and is perpetually drunk. He can't keep a girl's interest for too long, and everyone thinks he's weird. While Matt and Steve keep the powers in prank mode, Andrew slowly morphs into a villain with diabolical plans in his head.



 
Comments (1)
This reviewer seems to of expected just a action flick and because of the lack of action, took everything the story had to say and throw it out the window. The 'found footage' method was perfect for this movie, as if you seen in the beginning Andrew got the camera at first to video tape everything, hoping it would keep his father from abusing him. It quickly turned into a way for him, as a loner, to put a barrier between him and the world.

And the comment about sex, lies, and videotapes makes me wonder if he even watched the movie. There were very few comments about sex in general but these are three high school boys, of course there would be mention of sex. The "sex scene", if you would like to call it, played a large part in exposing Andrews true feelings when it came to the friendship. Deep down he felt Steven and Matt were only really friends with him because of the powers.

The movie itself did an amazing job breaking itself away from the garbage that 'found footage' films keep pouring out by utilizing a new technique. The director didn't rely on just Andrews camera, but every camera. This made the audience feel that we weren't just a part of Andrews life, but his decisions were affecting many different people. Yes this took it away from the 'found footage' sense in that, no one could have got all this together and edited to make a movie. It just showed different perspectives and let the audience decide how they wanted to view the scene. During the action scenes this was also necessary because as you say, put the camera down and run. Well Andrew very well would not of held a camera so the director used other cameras to show the action, but keeping the 'found footage' feel.

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