|Theatrical Movie Poster (2012)|
The first thing that came to mind was the old Stan Lee verbiage from the Spider-Man comic books, "With great power, comes great responsibility." The second thing that came to mind was that the film was an amalgam of CLOVERFIRELD and CARRIE, but with just a dash of STAR WARS. Now as I mentioned in my review of THE DEVIL INSIDE, the whole found footage/documentary footage idea had been done to death. However, it works here because one: the film stars no-name actors who bring a sense of believability and reality to it. You really feel sympathetic towards Andrew, as he struggles to find himself and to find acceptance among his classmates. His attempt to make friends via entering the school's talent show to show off his "magic skills" earns him popularity. However it is only short lived, and he's once again an outcast.
One has to wonder what if DeHaan was cast in the STAR WARS prequels instead of Hayden Christensen, because he pulled of what he couldn't do. Right away we know he is an angry young man, because of his folks and being shunned at school. Then he is given a power that he can use to get back at his tormentors. His slow dissent into madness is paced perfectly and his hatred at those who have done him wrong are dealt with most heinously. Overall a great performance by DeHaan!
The second item on my list as to why I enjoyed the film was the very cool special effects that doesn't truly overtake the film. While you need special effects and CGI to tell this type of sci-fi film, it adds to the story and not just bombard you with CGI after CGI after CGI effetcs. There is really a great story here and it comes courtesy of screenwriter Max Landis, the son of famed filmmaker John Landis! Also the film was the debut of director Josh Trank, who keeps the film moving at the right speed and gives us some great scenes and set ups, not to mention the clever way of how the film is pieced together by using a variety of cameras, ranging from Andrew's camera to hospital security cameras to streetlight videos.
CHRONICLE is this year's best sci-fi release thus far, but the bar has been set pretty high with this film. I am very curious as to how Hollywood will top this film. But whatever you do, don't hold your breath. Instead, just go see this film over and over again. You'll be glad you did! Five out of five stars!
CHRONICLE is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at www.cameracinemas.com.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!