Review: Chronicle

I am the apex predator
I am the apex predator

Yes another superhero film, but wait this time it is filmed in the found footage way that is being slightly overdone. However, for this film it works. The drawbacks of using a handheld camera are obvious and hinder the film later when the action really kicks up. The movie isn't entirely about super heroes per say but a look into teenagers. The plot centers around Andrew, who has a very rough home life and almost no social life. You give a person like himself powers and he becomes a danger to everyone as he lacks self control in pivotal situations. The message in the film is very clear, and directed at bullying in school. You can only push someone so far before they snap and do something terrible to themselves or to others. The way that someone snaps in this film is clearly dramatized due to the fact that the three main characters have nearly unlimited powers, but the message is still there.

Dane DeHaan as Andrew, Alex Russell as Matt and Michael B. Jordan as Steve
Dane DeHaan as Andrew, Alex Russell as Matt and Michael B. Jordan as Steve

In the beginning of the film we see Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan) in his room who had just recently purchased a hand held camera that was fixated on his door. On the other side of the door was his abusive drunk father, and when Andrew said that he had purchased a camera, his father stopped knocking on the door and stopped yelling at him. Andrew is then picked up sometime later by his cousin Matt Garetty (Alex Russell) to drive him to school. Matt is a little thrown off by Andrew carrying around a handheld camera and tells him that he should put it down as it draws more negative attention to him. When they get to school, we immediately see that Andrew is an outcast at school as he is bullied at almost every corner. Matt tells Andrew of a party that night, and tells him that they should go. Andrew is reluctant but to stop Matt from continuously pestering him, he gives in. When they reach the party, Andrew still feels like an outcast and Matt leaves his side to avoid being made fun of. Andrew walks outside to get away from it all and Steve (Michael B. Jordan) walks up to him all excited saying he needs to see something he and Matt found. When Steve and Andrew catch up with Matt, they find a giant hole in the middle of nowhere that emanates some weird vibrations. The three investigate and find something inside that grants them powers.

In my defense, he was going to do that himself at some point
In my defense, he was going to do that himself at some point

The three grow fairly close to each other as they learn to push the boundaries of their abilities. Matt realizes that their powers are like a muscle, the more they flex it without pushing themselves to far than the stronger it gets. They start to practice with a baseball in their backyards, then move to a toy store to mess with people setting up a couple of the funniest scenes in the film. Things then really kick up when Steve realizes that they all have the power to fly setting a stunning scene in terms of visuals. Things however quickly spiral out of control for Andrew when he gets a taste of a social life after he impresses at a talent show and goes to a party afterwards. At the party he ends up throwing up on a girl, he begins to lose it especially seeing how his father confronts him once again. All in all it is a story we are all familiar with for the most part, but it is all done in a refreshing way. Due to the trailers and plot, it is fairly easy to see the way the film will pan out but it keeps you engaged throughout the entire time.

3.5 stars out of 5
3.5 stars out of 5

Closing Comments

The three main characters all are relatively people that we all see in everyday life. The one angsty teenager, the jock and the popular kid at school. However, the three actors all breathe a certain likable trait or two into their respective characters that truly allow you to recognize and appreciate these characters even more. Dane DeHaan does a good job as Andrew, and it wouldn't be too surprising if his job in this leads to a couple more in the future. I read some other reviews that compared him to a young Dicaprio, I wouldn't go that far. Michael B. Jordan as Steve provided some of the funniest scenes in the entire film and was genuine in all of his scenes, but didn't have much screen time to really shine. Alex Russell as Matt was a very straight forward role and a very straight forward performance. He didn't do much to stand out. In fact, any actor could have been inserted into the part and it would have netted the same result. Considering this is the first film that director Josh Trank has done, it is a very good debut. To know surprise he is actually now talked as being the director of the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. Chronicle was better than I expected, but it did have a few drawbacks. Some of those drawbacks can be attributed to the shaky camera, some even can point to the ending. The film had me hooked all the way through, and then lost me a bit in the final few moments. With a strong ending this film could have been something really special.

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Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago

Sounds like a great movie. Kind of sad that I won't be able to see it any time soon though, as I still have a lot of other films to watch. however, I think this is probably the best review that I've read from you, as you've gotten me very curious to see this movie. Maybe, I'll have to take some time to see this one too. Thanks for the heads up. :)


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

Really? Thanks for the praise. I'm trying really hard to do a review a day as of late. I don't know if this is my best review, but I feel that I am for sure settling into a groove in terms of reviewing films.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago

That's cool. Well I think the thing to remember is you have to develop your own style of reviewing movies that's unique. After all, everyone has an opinion on movies, so you have to give them a reason to read your stuff. I think your on the right track from what I've seen, but I think the important thing is you just have to be honest whenever you review these movies.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

Agreed. I think I've found my niche though. I think I am done doing sports articles and so forth. I really enjoy reviewing movies above all else. In terms of honesty in reviews, sometimes that can be tough though as well because you still should be respectful.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago

Yeah, I don't disagree with that either. It's kind of a double edged sword there. I know when I wrote my review for the last "Jackass 3-D", I was rather honest about it, but I think I may have gone way too far when I criticized it. Heck, in the review, I compared the intelligence level of guys like Steve-O, Johnny Knoxville and others to that of five year old children. Needless to say, I think you do have a point there.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

Thats being a bit generous if you ask me. Lol. With this film, I really did enjoy it (despite the countless amount of ignorant people laughing at some crucial scenes) minus the ending. The ending honestly at times reminding me of something you would see in Dragon Ball Z.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago

Well, one guy would disagree you there. lol. Some guy named Tre (or whatever his name was, I forget right now) read that review, and left me very colorful comment. I won't say everything that he said, but he did say that he hopes I get beaten within of my life, and castrated for even daring to write a bad review over "Jackass 3-D." He essentially goes onto say it's just supposed to be a d*** joke movie and nothing more. lol. I didn't take it seriously, but I was surprised that someone was that utterly offended by what I said. lol.

I did contemplate whether to keep the comment or not, but in the end, I didn't. I just responded to him saying something along the lines of if a critic bashing your favorite film is something that's going to get you this p***ed off, then I think that speaks more volumes about you than it does me. Seriously, there's bigger problems out there than worrying about what some guy you'll probably never see in real life thinks about your favorite movie. I did say more than that to him, but that's the gist of it. I just laugh about it now. lol.

As for this movie, I'll try to squeeze it in if I can. I didn't know the ending was like that. Hopefully the ending is a lot better than the actual "Dragonball Evolution" movie was.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

lets not take about "Dragonball Evolution" please. lol. People like that amaze me though, how could you get so offended from a review of a film. It really is just comical to me.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago

Same here. that's why I didn't erase it. I think one of my followers seanorjohn said it best when he said it might've been like the director doing that because I allegedly offended him so much. That or it could be just some teenage kid that likes to talk trash online. I think the later is more probable though. lol.

Okay, I won't talk about that show then. By the way, I saw the "Lord Slug Abridged" on youtube. that was pretty funny. have you seen it?


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 4 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

The movies are funny but, the episodes are really hysterical. Nappa, Elder Guru and Vegeta are too funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHTTpfonLsc

That is the best of Mr. Popo, also one of the funniest.

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