For the first time in movie history, the Found Footage genre has been pulled off in a way that is entertaining, fascinating, and smart. Chronicle is the story of three boys who get powers after an encounter with a glowing object at a party. This movie shows what they do with these powers, and how out of control things end up getting.
I haven’t seen a Found Footage movie that I would watch again…up until Chronicle. Cloverfield? Terrible. Apollo 18? Atrocious. Paranormal Activity? Nothingness. But this? This is how Found Footage should be. First off, the kid who is filming all of this has a reason to keep his camera on. He is abused by his dad, and his camera is a barrier between him and the world. It’s like a friend to him. His self esteem is not up to par. Then when he gets his powers, he wants to document what he and his friends can do. It makes complete sense. I never questioned why he had the camera rolling. And you know what? This kid who is documenting this movie doesn’t shake the camera like he is having a stroke. Finally! I can see what’s going on! Eventually this kid learns how to move the camera with his powers, so we get 3rd person shots rather than 1st person shots during big scenes. The idea of Found Footage being presented this creatively and pulling off the concept is great.
So the concept was executed. But how was the concept itself? Were these superpowers used in an interesting, entertaining way? Yes, yes they were. The way these kids use their powers bring a smile to your face. I wouldn’t have come up with some of the stuff they did. The characters are introduced as typical guys, but you grow to understand each of their personalities. They become three dimensional as the movie goes on. It is interesting how Andrew, the movie with the camera and who is abused, is perceived. You feel very sympathetic towards him, because when he is hit on camera it looks all too real, but your sympathy grows into distaste. You are no longer rooting for the main character. Or, at least in my case. This is where opinions may greatly differ. Still, having a main character who you really understand, both good and bad sides of them, is a must. Chronicle had that. With deep story and many plot lines, it meshed together well, surprisingly.
Over all, I was very entertained with the movie. Finally, the Found Footage genre has been pulled off. This movie is a T-Bone. It isn’t lacking in much, but it doesn’t excel above and beyond. It is definitely the best of its genre, but as a movie as a whole? It was very enjoyable, but it’s not Filet leveled. Give this movie a shot. You will enjoy it, even if you hate Found Footage movies. I hate them, and yet this movie left me grinning. Chronicle is definitely a great one. This is the first good Found Footage style film. Other movies have to take a look at this one and learn from it. If Chronicle is seen as an example of what this genre should be, Found Footage films can become much better, and no longer a gimmick. That’ll be the day I have faith back in M. Night…maybe not…