Just when you thought there's no more innovative films coming out of the well milked Found Footage formula, here comes Max Landis and Josh Trank's film Chronicle to demolish all genre lethargy and inertia to move away from its comfort zone of horror flicks, and introduce in very successful terms the Superhero genre, while actively taking narrative pains to eradicate the shaky-cam, which to date has almost been a staple so long as a character starts to wield a camera to document a series of events from his or her solo perspective.
Chronicle provided a good reason to have steadicam, and to expand upon its solo universe to have viewpoints from a multitude of sources, making this somewhat like an Assembled Footage film, with content scoured and drawn from a series of different devices, be it mobile phones, or newsreels, in addition to a video camera that the protagonists have to lug along. We follow the adventures of a trio of characters, each distinct in maturity level to hammer home certain plot plots and character development, when they chance upon a crater leading down a tunnel into something strange, mysterious and endowing our characters with the powers of telekinesis.
Which just about allows them to do almost everything they wish in their minds, starting modestly with the slow experimentation of their abilities, before growing in strength and skill to do a lot more, including the ability to take flight. And the filmmakers superbly handled the spirit of superhero lore by adapting from very common, yet deeply discussed themes and plots involving the nurture of such powers, and how they actually can change the unsuspecting wielder, whether they would allow power to corrupt them, or to use them for a greater calling. And it's no surprise how it developed the way it does, since most of us would harbour equally similar desires, or bewilderment at the onset during the discovery and exploration of such abilities, that all these contribute to a very believable story that plays on our secret fantasies, and consequences of some of our would be actions as well.
Technically, this film boasts plenty of well blended special effects with a solid narrative that it's quite remarkable everything got put together and paced perfectly for 83 minutes, which is compact yet long enough for such a genre film, deliberately keeping some things unanswered and the doors open to follow on films, and leaving you wanting much more, a lot more. Highly recommended and this is to date, one of the best its genre has on offer, which hopefully will convince some of the genre detractors.
You can read my review of Chronicle at movieXclusive.com by clicking on the logo below.