Once the trailer was released on the video sharing website YouTube roughly four months ago, the buzz for this film could only be described as deafening. Dubbed “Cloverfield meets Heroes”, Chronicle is the new handy cam film to hit our cinemas, but it is definitely unlike any other.
Shot by Josh Trank who is best known for creating TV series The Kill Point, Chronicle tracks the life of a socially awkward kid Andrew (Dane DeHaan), who one day decides to film everything he does in a day and then edit it later on his computer. With a volatile relationship thrown in with his violent alcoholic father Richard (Michael Kelly), Andrew is pushed to the edge. Following an incident with his cousin (Alex Russell) and high school friend (Michael B. Jordan), they discover the power of telekinesis and soon find out the limit to their powers.
Using a handful of actors mainly known for their work in American television, Trank has addressed and embraced the “found movie” genre with a young but believable cast who must have had a lot of fun filming.
There are some incredibly clever cinematography techniques that make this film that extra bit special, one being that the majority of the film is shot through Andrew filming, but after discovering he can control the camera to film by floating around him, this allows for a wealth of imaginative angles. However, I am not going to give too much of the plot away as it is a film, like Cloverfield, that is best watched with no knowledge of the storyline.
One aspect to note about Chronicle is the impressive display of CGI and computer imagery that caused the action in the final sequences to be simply superb. I can’t help but think this is one film that could have benefited from a 3D release.
However, we don’t see much of the three teenagers “playing about” with their new found powers. There are some sequences, such as one involving a little girl and a teddy bear, that work but more would not have gone amiss. Furthermore, the plot is slow and a bit weak in places but overall this is forgotten by a humorous script, together with good acting.
Usually with a film that is shrouded in secrecy previous to its release, the build up for the ending is somewhat disappointing. However, be sure not to be disappointed with Chronicle.
This is a powerful debut picture that is sure to delight critics and film fans alike on its general release.
Chronicle is released nationwide on 1st February 2012.
Watch the trailer for Chronicle here: