Chronicle Review – Dark Side of Flying High

Chronicle is solid proof that even 26-year-old, first-time directors can fly high with a decent super-hero(es) movie on a not-so-big budget.

Los Angeles native Josh Trank, 26, directed this eminently watchable film from a story Max Landis (also 26) and he came up with.

The screenplay is entirely Landis’ effort.

We’ll acknowledge at the outset that Chronicle found favor with us.

What we liked most about Chronicle was that the gee-whiz ‘flying-high’ effects (once close to a plane in the clouds) does not drown the all-too familiar human story of pathos, discovery, happiness, hubris and ultimately downfall.

Nice Teenage Chronicle

Chronicle falls broadly in the same genre as Super 8 and Paranormal Activity.

You know with an off-beat story where bad things start to happen soon after a sunny start, hand-held camera photography, use of security camera pictures within the movie etc.

But we found Chronicle the slickest, the neatest and the best-written of the lot.

Chronicle centers around three teenage boys, the shy and bullied Andrew, his outgoing cousin Matt and the black kid Steve, who stumble upon something strange one night.

The boys are high-school students who have gone to a late-night party. Matt and Steve venture into the woods afterwards where they find an unusual pit. They quickly call Andrew to film the thing since he’s forever going around with a camera filming everything.

Against the warnings of the timid (and badly bullied both at school and home) Andrew, they descend into the pit and lo and behold find a unusual object inside.

Boys will be boys, right?

Yes, they touch the object causing first Andrew’s camera to go black and then giving a big lift-off to the movie in a literal sense.

Dark Side of Power

Soon, the youngsters start developing extraordinary powers including the ability to move things without touching them and ultimately even gain the ability to fly high in the clouds.

The unusual power the boys develop now takes a life of its own with the most timid of them all Andrew changing dramatically.

Andrew’s transition is neatly captured.

First used for harmless pranks, the super-power is gradually deployed for dark purposes.

The descent begins when a car is pushed off the road for honking and tailgating them.

Landis’ screenplay is very taut and the movie marches briskly without a single dull moment.

The three youngsters Dane DeHaan (as Andrew), Michael B. Jordan (as Steve) and Alex Russell (playing Matt) deliver more than an adequate job in the acting department.

Within all these fancy “Hey, I’m Flying” movements there’s an all too human account of Andrew’s dark, disturbed life, both at home and at school.

Special Effects

The special effects are all right.

Although they were not spectacular, there was nothing crude or cheesy about them.

Hey, you got to remember the film’s modest overall budget of just $15 million. Not a big deal for a super-hero movie.

With bigger stars, the movie’s budget would surely have skyrocketed.

Chronicle – Go for It

Your favorite blog recommends Chronicle to all ye schmucks in North America.

In any case, the Bollywood mongrels and the Kollywood thieves don’t have any new releases this week.

We had a good time watching Chronicle and came out feeling that our $8.75 was well spent.

One Response to "Chronicle Review – Dark Side of Flying High"

  1. Mnx542   February 6, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Not sure if I wanna see this one. Longing to see a wonderful thriller. I’m a bit tired of watching super hero kinda movies Responds:

    You should see this to realize how debutant directors can do well even with their first film.

    In Mera Bharat Mahaan, we have directors as old as donkeys tortoises and yet churn out trash.

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