Chronicle (2012)

chronicle poster 2012 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Interesting concept

So-so acting at points

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Chronicle

Studio:  Davis Entertainment

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure/Superhero

Release Date(s):  February 3, 2011

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

chronicle michael b jordan dane dehaan alex russell

Remember high school when you are your super-powered friends would spend the day flying around and goofing off?

Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan) has decided to document his life with a camera. His father (Michael Kelly) is an abusive alcoholic, his mother (Bo Petersen) is dying from cancer, and his only friend is his cousin Matt Garetty (Alex Russell) who doesn’t even really like him. When Andrew and Matt attend a party, they run into Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan). The three of them discover something in an underground cavern that unlocks something inside of them. They begin to find they have powers and the powers just seem to grow. Unfortunately, one of them is going to lose control and possibly can’t be stopped.

Directed by Josh Trank, Chronicle is a found-footage style superhero film.  The film was released to positive reviews and was a box-office success.

Chronicle seemed to come out of nowhere.  I never saw a commercial for it, and then everyone was talking about it.  While I do think it does a lot of stuff well, I think the movie does have room for improvement…and does not seem to scratch the surface of its potential (ironically).

chronicle flying scene

Flying is fun…watch for planes

The movie is a superhero, science-fiction style movie. The movie is a bit of a real-world origin story making it a rather meta version of a Marvel or DC movie. The idea of a group of kids getting super-powers in a real-world environment does have them goofing off with them instead of being super-heroes…which is probably true. In movies and comics, the next logical jump is “I’m going to be a super-hero” seems a bit of a stretch if superpowers were real…card tricks, pranks, and using the powers to become popular are more likely to me.  The “Boys will be boys” tagline used in marketing is a perfect means to explain the film.

The cast was an up-and-coming bunch.  Dane DeHaan has the focus of the film which is interesting since he essentially becomes a villain at which point the movie becomes more Alex Russell focused.  Michael B. Jordan also is great as the popular jock who is the first to pay the price for goofing off with something that none of the characters understand.

chronicle dane dehaan crushes car

I will crush you…like a fly!

The found-footage doesn’t always make much sense. It is unclear how the footage was gathered and put together, but in this case, I can accept that it isn’t necessarily truly assembled for the theater (there is no announcement at the beginning that it has been collected from footage found in possession of the main characters) and at least opposed to other found films, the movie has a resolution and isn’t relying on an unseen monster.  Often found footage films, just end…this one gives an ending.

Chronicle was a unique story to develop.  The concept and execution were good (some of the special effects are already dated), and the real-world aspect of the film is really the hitch.  I wish that the movie did not quickly delve into the characters choosing right and wrong and Andrew becoming unbalanced so quickly.  It felt a bit rushed, and it felt like the film was more a TV series type theme than a less than ninety minute movie.  The success of the film prompted plans for a sequel (and even a trilogy), but nothing seemed to develop…with the acquisition of Fox by Disney, maybe a sequel can appear (or at least a Disney+ series might be nice).

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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