‘Chronicle’ Review: Gimmicky Genre Bending At It’s Finest

Photo Credit: http://teaser-trailer.com/chronicle-movie-trailer/

Found footage movies and superhero movies have pretty much completely taken over their own genres. Every other horror movie has some goon behind a camera narrating this supposedly true story. Come summer, you won’t be able to escape the men in tights. What Chronicle does is take these two sub-genres and smash them together. Gimmicky? Yes. Awesome? Absolutely.

The story follows three high school students who gain telekinetic powers through a mysterious object underground. One of them goes bad. What Chronicle does more effectively than any of the superhero movies last year is bring back that sense of wonder that comes with an average person having magnificent abilities. We see people fly all the time in the movies, but Chronicle makes it fun again.

The found footage style helps to make it seem more genuine than your average superhero movie. Unlike most found footage movies, the perspective does not come from just one camera. The point of view depends on who is closest to the characters with a camera. This includes security cameras and pedestrian cell phones.

But the roots of Chronicle come from its characters, all played by no-name actors. Following the story of these kids is exciting, and when things go south, impressively tense. Dane DeHaan, who plays Andrew, is a believable lead and makes for a morally-compelling character.

However, the main problem with Chronicle is that aside from its found footage style, it introduces nothing new to the superhero story. It just tells the story extremely well. But take away the point of view of the “real” cameras and this isn’t too different from any of the X-men or Spider-man movies.

But despite the gimmicks, Chronicle really works. It’s the first great superhero movie of 2012 and a great way to pass the time counting down to The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Featuring great action and characters, Chronicle is a surprising February hit not to miss. Grade: B+

 

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