Cast: Michael B Jordan, Michael Kelly and Alex Russell
Director: Josh Trank
What would you do if you discovered you'd suddenly acquired Magneto-like powers that allowed you to control things with your mind…to move objects around without lifting a finger, to crush a car by simply willing it, to fly in the air even? More than likely you'd have fun with it. It's what three high-school students in 'Chronicle' do, when they realize they've each gained superhuman telekinetic powers after touching a giant crystal in a mysterious underground hole.
Cleverly mashing up the superhero and found-footage genres, the makers of this engaging thriller tell us the story of three youngsters – one permanently armed with a video camera he uses to shoot just about everything – whose lives change when they come by these powers. It all starts off harmlessly with them performing childish pranks like scaring a little girl in the mall with a flying teddy bear, or blowing wind up cheerleaders' skirts at school. But when one of the boys, a troubled teen with an ailing mom and a drunkard dad, starts to abuse his powers, you realize what Uncle Ben meant when he told his nephew, Peter Parker: "With great power comes great responsibility."
As with most such films, the found-footage conceit becomes a little bit strained after a point, especially when you're expected to believe that a character is continuing to record everything, even as he or she is on the run from life-threatening enemies. The makers of 'Chronicle' try to think ahead of that complaint: one of the characters learns to control the camera telekinetically, which allows the camera to float around the characters recording everything that's going on. It's far-fetched, but to be honest it doesn't really matter, because by then you're too busy enjoying the action to care about the plausibility of what's going on.
That's true also of the film's final 15 minutes or so, in which the angry kid practically tears apart the city of Seattle in an outrageous but very enjoyable finale, that's achieved with some excellent special effects. And because they've cast all unknown actors in the film, you have no idea who's going to make it and who won't in the end.
Packed with several thrilling moments – like the time the boys first discover they can fly – 'Chronicle' is an original and smart action movie that you will undoubtedly enjoy. I'm going with three-and-a-half out of five; you won't be bored for a minute.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
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