Thursday, February 23, 2012

Movie Review - Chronicle


Well, I just got back from seeing the movie Chronicle with a few friends and I'd like to say I was pleasantly surprised. I walked into the theater honestly not really knowing what I was about to watch, just that it was about a few teenagers developing superpowers. I was expecting a whole 'save the world' mentality to come out of that, but surprisingly, there was none. What these three teenage guys did do was use their new powers of telekinesis and flying to 'have fun'. This included everything from throwing baseballs at each other and trying to catch them in midair with no hands to throwing a car - with a person inside - off of the road and into a pond (this was, of course, an accident, but still). I liked this spin on the much overdone plot line of "inheriting" superpowers. Chronicle showed the story of three guys just having fun with their powers. Of course, all good things must come to an end, but I'm still getting to that.

The entire movie was filmed from the point of view of one of the characters' (Andrew) camera. At first, my thoughts were along the lines of "great, just like Paranormal Activity. I'll most likely leave here with a headache from all the camera movement." However, I was proven wrong. This perspective of filming not only made the entire movie more personal and interesting but made it different from all the other superhero movies. And once Andrew developed his telekinesis power, he could float the camera around so it would pan like a normal camera would film a movie, yet it still retained the personal aspect. Towards the end the view would switch in and out of other cameras, like security cameras and camera phones and the like. Altogether, the effect was pretty darn good, keeping the attention of the audience without making them sick from all the motion.

Andrew, the main character and the guy with the video camera, was pretty much your average unsocial nerd. No friends, got beat up all the time, sat alone at lunch on the bleachers and watched the cheerleaders practice, etc, etc. His cousin, Matt, was the one person he actually talked to. The whole superpower thing came about when Matt dragged Andrew to a party and they ended up exploring this random massive hole in the ground in the middle of the woods along with this other guy Steve. Yes, random plot twist and not the most well done way of introducing the thing that gives these guys their powers. Its pretty much this pulsing crystalline structure below ground, most likely radioactive judging by how it messed up the camera (cool effects at that part). It does this weird exploding thing and the next day, Andrew, Matt and Steve have powers. There were some pretty funny scenes of the guys testing out their powers which involved throwing rocks at each other and building a lego tower without touching the legos. As you might expect, Andrew finds friends in Matt and Steve, mutually drawn together by their new powers. They have fun together, mess around with their powers, learn to fly, pull some pranks, almost kill a guy (the one in the car, but its okay. Steve saves him. Or maybe Matt. I can't remember.) But like I said before, all good things must come to an end.

Andrew's family is messed up. His mom is terribly sick and his dad is an alcoholic who beats him. After a particularly bad interaction with his dad, Andrew retreats to the sky to be angry. Steve, sensing Andrew's anger, goes to find him. But what he didn't know is all of a sudden Andrew can pretty much create a thunder storm. So, in a fit of rage, Andrew accidentally kills Steve with lightning. This sparks the undoing of Andrew's sanity. Of course, we bring up evolution and natural selection and the apex predator idea. Andrew decides that he, being the strongest of the three, is the apex predator (or alpha male). While trying to get money to buy medicine for his mom, he robs three guys who had beaten him up multiple times and then robs a local drug store. He gets caught after almost blowing the place up, lands in the hospital, almost blows the hospital up and then tries to drop his dad off the roof. Matt, of course, shows up and catches Andrew's dad before he hits the ground, but now their cover is completely blown since that happened in front of a massive crowd. Long story short, Andrew goes completely insane and power hungry, kills a bunch of people, nearly destroys an entire city, and ends up being killed by his cousin Matt to prevent any further harm to people. Matt runs away (actually flies) to "help people" as he says and find out what made them have powers to begin with. This could possibly be hinting at another movie (?) which hopefully will be good considering the fact that sequels are always worse than the first.

Final Thoughts:
I liked it. Maybe not loved it, but it was still good in its own weird sort of way. Kind of like reading really strange poetry. It was, for lack of a better word, unique. I was upset that they brought up the whole evolutionist apex predator idea, but the 'apex predator' did not end up surviving, so I guess in some ways that negates itself. I liked how Chronicle was not just another movie about superpowers. Because honestly, if I developed super powers, I wouldn't immediately say "oh, lets go save the world and be good citizens and save people and stuff." No, I'd be more like "awesome, what crazy things can we do with these powers now?" And that's exactly what happened. Just three guys messing around with superhuman abilities. I am also glad that they did not all live by flying off somewhere remote and living a life of luxury. No one can have that much power and live a long life. It just won't work. So I guess another good way to describe Chronicle is real.

Yes, I would suggest for you to see this movie. BUT keep in mind that it is all from the perspective of three teenage guys. I'll just leave it at that. Other than that, good, unique movie that got your mind working. Plus, there were some pretty amazing shots of them flying and if I had a superpower it would easily be the ability to fly. So I really liked those scenes, 'cause there's nothing like playing football in the clouds.