Posted on Monday, February 13, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Reviewed by: S. Tran
Starring: Dane Dehaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan
Directed by: Josh Trank
Running Time: 84 minutes
Chronicle is one of those films that has a great premise but in the end fails to deliver in any meaningful way. While it struggles to deliver something more than just nice effects to the audience in eventually just sputters along to an unsatisfying end.
Andrew (Dehaan) is a high school student with a rough home life, dealing with an alcoholic father and a terminally ill mother. School life is not any better as he is also the target for various bullies in the school. The only bright spot in his life is his cousin Matt (Russell) who occupies a space in a higher social strata. For some reason Andrew decides to buy a camera and begins to record his daily life and the film is presented from the view point of that camera.
The lives of the boys and their friend Steve (Jordan) take a twist when they discover a mysterious rock in an underground cavern. We later find out that the rock as imbued all three teens with powers which they begin to explore. This was by far my favourite part of the movie. It was refreshing to see people actually enjoying themselves as the revel in their new found abilities. To me this is how people would react if they found out they could do superhuman things and was nice change from similar stories where for some reason people with powers are constantly unhappy about that fact.
Unfortunately for the boys, and for the audience, the good times are short lived as the movie kicks into serious mode. Andrew becomes increasingly agitated by the events in his life and his new powers provide an outlet for that building anger. The problem is that at 84 minutes the movie is simply too short to allow for a meaningful development of this storyline and it feels rushed. We never get a true understanding of what is going through his mind. This is compounded by a scene where he decides to inexplicably don his father’s firefighting gear which left most of the audience scratching their collective heads.
Being a sci-fi movie effects are important and for the most part they are done fairly well, with the exception of the scenes of the boys flying in the clouds which came off looking a bit cheap. The money might have been better spent showcasing the boys’ power on Earth.
The performances of the three main actors was good. There were no break outs in the movie and I’m not sure if there were any career making roles here. In the end it was not an unenjoyable movie but it may be best just to wait for the dvd on this one.
2.5 stars out of 5.