Chronicle (2012) starring Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly directed by Josh Trank Movie Review

Chronicle (2012)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Dane DeHaan in Chronicle (2012)

Forget Hero it's Simply Super

Andrew (Dane DeHaan) doesn't have a great life; his mother is dying of cancer, his father is an alcoholic who physically abuses him and he gets bullied at school but to make matters worse he decides to document his life by videoing everything and it just increases the beatings. But when having reluctantly gone with his cousin Matt (Alex Russell) to a party, they along with Matt's friend Steve (Michael B. Jordan) they discover a tunnel in the woods which goes on for ever. But something happens to them down there when they experience a strange glowing, giant crystal and then a while later they discover they have all gained telekinetic abilities. Trying to work out what they should do with the ability to move things with the power of their mind they have some fun with it. But they also discover that using their abilities not only connects them but causes nose bleeds and now they need to deal with how to deal with these super powers.

As a rule I don't like movies which try to make out they are made by the characters involved, I don't mean just found footage movies as the concept is larger than that. My trouble usually is that these self filmed movies are not convincing and are riddled with flaws when it comes to how they play out which make them fall to bits. But occasional a movie comes along which manages to elevate the concept to be more than just a gimmick and "Chronicle" achieves this in spectacular fashion.

To break it down what "Chronicle" has is a creative storyline which taps into the whole super human/ super hero theme and does so with a combination of sci-fi and wicked humour. As such we have the creepy when these three guys explore this mysterious tunnel but we have the playful when they start experimenting with their new found powers from using it to lift up skirts to some hilarious scenes in a toy shop. But the story goes beyond just fun as we then see what having power does to each of them and how in Andrew's case years of being beaten down makes him react differently to the others when it comes to his powers. As such we see these characters and especially Andrew transform as their abilities start to control them.

Now on top of this we have a very visual movie with some entertaining special effects when it comes to these three friends using their powers; their is the playful from messing about with Lego, making a teddy talk to stopping a ball in mid throw. But we also have moments of violence which work not so much because of their graphic nature but because director Josh Trank tosses them at us without notice that they manage to throw us off balance.

And to top this off is a trio of actors Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan who are so natural and entertaining that you enjoy watching these guys having fun with their new found abilities but fascinated by how it affects them. Special mention has to go to Dane DeHaan whose transformation is stunning and manages to take us from geek, to cool and then dangerous which is great.

What this all boils down to is that "Chronicle" was a complete surprise as I expected little but ended up entertained by every single minute of it thanks to a good story, great acting and a lot creative ideas which draw you in and keep you there the whole time.