Chronicle: The Best Superhero Movie That’s Not Really a Superhero Movie
This might be one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen, although it’s not really a superhero movie in the traditional sense with guys in costumes saying pithy things and saving little old ladies. Like most superhero movies, Chronicle sits comfortably in the science fiction genre; but unlike your typical super hero movie, it’s not over the top and larger than life. It has realism not present in most superhero movies.
The story reminded me of the Star Trek episode Where No Man Has Gone Before when Kirk’s friend Gary Mitchell gets super powers and continues getting stronger until he can do just about anything. Nebbish Andrew Detmer, his cousin Matt and popular guy friend Steve encounter a weird artifact and their lives are topsy turvy from then on. They all end up with strange telekinetic powers. The changes these characters go through as a result of their new abilities are compelling and believable. Things are all fun and games at the start, but predictably they go south. Thankfully, the film’s predictability doesn’t prevent it from being a massively entertaining success. It has strengths such as well-developed characters, fine acting, and mind blowing action.
Three super friends
Another aspect that may lead you away from this film however is that it’s another of those ‘characters filming themselves with a handheld camera’ movies. Surprisingly, even though a bit contrived, it works. The perspective shifts from our main character’s camera to minor character’s camera to security cameras and so on. It ends up being another one of the entertaining characteristics of the movie. Another fantastic part of this film is the special effects. They are flawless. They are just enough to give you a sense of strange reality, but not excessive to the point of CGI overload. And the action scenes in the finally are spectacular. The shifts in perspective due to the different cameras add a sense of realism seldom seen in any superhero type film.
You have to give major kudos to director Josh Trank who co-wrote Chronicle and made the movie for $12 million. Wow! And it’s his first feature film. I have high hopes for this guy. His future projects, all based on comic books, are rumored to include The Red Star, The Fantastic Four, and Venom.