Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mini movie review: Chronicle

I was really looking forward to Chronicle, a genre blend of sci-fi, superhero and teen-angst.  It had gotten pretty good reviews - interesting story*, engaging characters, good use of the now ever-present found-footage technique - and the genre mix is right up my alley.  It's the story of three high school kids, Andrew, the tormented loner, Matt, his smart cousin, and popular, athletic Steve.  The guys find a hole in the ground and, upon venturing in, discover some big crystal that imbues them with superpowers.  These powers reveal themselves slowly: first they can move Legos, then baseballs, then a leaf-blower, then themselves; their pure joy at being able to fly is contagious.  But Andrew, whose mother is dying and whose father is a drunk asshole (btw, if Matt is his cousin, wouldn't one of Matt's parents - who would be related to one of Andrew's parents, maybe step in to help with Andrew's terminally ill mother?), is a disturbed kid and he begins to use his powers in ways that he shouldn't.  Matt, who is the moral center of the film, tries to help Andrew, but things get way out of hand.  For the most part, I enjoyed Chronicle, but it lost me at the end when it devolved into a long scene of CGI effects and violence.  I feel that, given the time that was taken at the front end to develop Andrew, Matt and Steve, there could have been more intimacy and less smash to the boys' downfall.

*The thing about the story is that it's awfully similar to that X-Files episode ("Rush," S7E5) where the popular high school kids find a cave in the woods with a mysterious force field, get supercharged with super-speed, and then do bad things until Mulder and Scully can rein them in.

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