Saturday, February 4, 2012

With Great Power, Comes Youtube.

It's an age old question: if you were a superhero, would you use your powers for good or evil? Some of us like to imagine ourselves saving children from burning buildings. Others like to imagine what it would be like to get back at the old lady downstairs who knocks her broom handle through their floors.  Chronicle takes the question to a literal level by testing it on three high school boys--the class president, the intellectual tool, and the downtrodden loner. They stumble upon something unknown and absorb superhuman powers, but the true test, as always, is learning to control these powers. The entire movie is "chronicled" via various different videocameras, which is an interesting devise for a movie like this even if it distracts from the actually content on screen from time to time. The plot runs through the familiar teen-movie themes of bullying and disconnecting from those around you, but the actors manage to pull it off to at least make the familiar ride enjoyable the second time around.  

Is it a tired and old morality play about the consequences of too much power? Of course it is. But if it ain't broke, why fix it, right? So maybe the message was a little heavy-handed, and maybe it was all something we've seen before a thousand and one times. Still, I went it knowing exactly what I was getting into, and on its own standards, the movie delivered everything I expected from it. I got into the characters, felt for their plights, and all at a good pace. Predictable and cliché at times, but a solid and just plain fun film, which is more than most mainstream movies seem to be able to brag about these days. 


  1. You know I don't know why they didn't do this with girls. I am sick to death of all the adventures/powers/etc. falling in the hands of teenage boys. Christ on stick, boys are stupid and do the exact same stupid things in every film. When they do try the morality power thing with girls, we get witchcraft. Now, The Craft was a good movie, but come on, why can't girls stumble across the meteorite, get bit by the radioactive spider or drink the nuclear Koolaid? Chronicle would be worth 4 stars if we did. Great review though, I'll still check it out on DVD.

    1. I'm with you, Melissa. It's boring always happening to the guys, especially when they don't even take the boys in a new direction.

      Still, I'm with M. and her general feelings of the flick. It's entertaining enough, acted well-enough, and has enough sparkly special effects to keep you involved. Its biggest asset might be its length, though - at sub-90 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome at all.

  2. Mel B pegs this - I myself would have found this more interesting if it had been girls too. Although I will add D.E.B.S. to the list as a movie where the girls got the superspy skills. But she's right - it's always boys, and it usually does go down the same road each time. And like her, I will check this out on DVD, because I do enjoy seeing what can be done with found footage flicks. But great review, M! Spot on!

  3. @ Melissa--I am with you. 100%. I am so ready to see some non-witchy chicks wit superpowers. There's a nice little feminist rant for you--boys with superpowers are heroes, girls with superpowers are demonic witches. Er? The testosterone kick is fun. Sure. But we all know girls can be just as power hunger as the boys. C'mon. Who DOESN'T want to see Mean Girls + nuclear waste? And more importantly, why hasn't anyone written this yet?

    @ Craig--Thanks! And agreed! It's definitely a good DVD movie, I wouldn't actually go out of your way to go to the theaters to see it. It's interesting to see how they pull off the whole found footage bit, sometimes it works, sometimes it...sort of does? But I still have to see D.E.B.S.! I don't know what's wrong with me, it's only been on my to-see list for years.

  4. I went into this knowing nothing at all, therefore not expecting anything and so I enjoyed it thoroughly. Maybe a bit too much, but meh it was fun. I find the comments interesting because even though I would like to see such films with females in the lead instead, I don't know what they would do. That's why I found the film so stupid and funny- only mostly guys do these things and being a teenage girl, I could not even think of most of the stuff.
    Good review :)

  5. Thanks! I think going into movies knowing nothing at all is really the best way to do it! And for the record, I do think it's a massively fun movie. I definitely enjoyed seeing it, especially with friends. And I think it stayed true to what it was--a movie about boys being...boys. With superpowers. Awesome. It would be cool to have a female superpower movie, but it definitely wouldn't be Chronicle.