Sunday, March 4, 2012


Starring Dane DeHaan,  Alex Russell, Michael Kelly, and Michael B. Jordan

Directed by Josh Trank

Release Date: February 3rd, 2012

Andrew (DeHaan) is an introverted high school senior with an alcoholic dad, a mom sick with cancer, and only his cousin Matt (Russell) to be his friend. Soon, Andrew brings his new camera to a party, to document his life if only to have something to do. His decision makes him part of a discovery team: Matt and popular quarterback and student body president Steve (Jordan) have found something in a cavernous pit, and need Andrew to document their find. Whatever it may be, Andrew and his friends will be changed forever, for better or worse.....

In 1998, the found footage sub-genre took off with the release of The Blair Witch Project, setting a string of similar projects and imitators, relying more and more heavily on deceiving the audience. Here, there are no delusions that this movie was "found": it has a credit sequence at the end, production company logos at the start, and the actors are listed by name. Chronicle uses not only the POV from Andrew's camera, but C.C. TV video, footage from security cameras, the camera of another character, and Smart-Phone video.

The performances from the three leads, DeHaan, Russell, and Jordan, are dynamic and play well off each other. Since we are following DeHaan's Andrew in the beginning, we get to know him the best. Andrew is a very lonely person; his dad demeans him, he's picked on at school, and rarely stands up for himself. The filmmakers do a good job of making Andrew into a dynamic character, who becomes more open with his new friends and decides to make some improvements in his life. Russell and Jordan are good side characters, as Matt and Steve, respectively. Jordan's Steve is the party animal who likes to have fun and Matt is the intellectual who wants to do the right thing with an interest in philosophy.

The one downside? The C.G.I can be a little low grade at times. When the boys discover new found abilities, they showoff such strengths as moving Legos and baseballs to eventually learning how to push cars and fly with their minds. Since this is a minor budget, the graphics are not as well-polished as big blockbusters, but they do the job.

This may be one of my favorite films of 2012.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 

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