Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
High Desert Daily
(Victorville) Everyone at one time or another wishes they had superpowers. I know I did. To have powers unlike anyone on the planet, to do the things you always dreamed you could. It’s the premise to many superhero comic books; the everyday person gets extraordinary powers, so what do they do with them? That is also the premise to Chronicle, but does the film fly?
The first wide release from director Josh Trank and written by Max Landis, Chronicle is in the same “found film” genre as Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity films, except there is no horror aspect to it. The film follows the life of high school student Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan), an outsider whose life is in shambles: from an abusive father to a sick mother, and being the kid always picked on in school, Detmer decides right from the start to record his life with his new camera. Andrew’s cousin, Matt (Alex Russell) is really his only friend, as both attend the same school. Everything changes when Andrew, Matt, and Matt’s friend Steve (Michael B. Jordan) come across a strange hole in the ground, which ultimately leads to the three gaining telekinetic powers, or being able to move items with their minds. What would you do with powers if you were a high school student? These three got your choices covered.
Unlike most superhero movies where someone gets powers and all of a sudden wants to save the world, these three use their powers more as a hobby, until life becomes more real and less about the fun and games. A perfect example of the rise and fall of absolute power, Chronicle puts the audience right in the middle of the action, drama and tension the film exudes. The camera angles are all from various in film cameras: from Andrew’s camera, to a female bloggers point of view, to security cameras and television cameramen equipment, the entire film has a realistic vibe to it, one that it is pulled off with shear excellence. The special effects are done in a masterful manner as well, making the powers seem believable, not like a made for TV special.
The film has some massive dark undertones to it, all leading up to an exciting finale. The best way to describe this film is that it is the deconstruction of the super hero genre: incredible powers, and how different people with different mindsets utilize them equals some drastically different results. Not everyone is a Peter Parker who wants to save the world, and this film shows a side of it deeply rooted in reality. I highly recommend Chronicle, as it currently stands as my favorite film of 2012 thus far.