Monday, February 6, 2012

Movie Review - Chronicle

Movie Title
Action, Sci-Fi

Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan), an only child to a dying cancer-stricken mother and a drunkard ex-fireman father who was discharged due to an on-the-job injury. A social outcast (not so much a victim of cruel high school peers but his own depressing personality & awkward disposition) who doesn’t fit in at home or in school. Fortunately has an older cousin, Matt Garetty (Alex Russell), who loves and watches over him like a big brother. 

One day, joined by Matt’s best friend, Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan, nope, not THE Michael Jordan) they discover a strange hole in the ground (presumably created by a crashing UFO that has lodged itself underground) that gives all 3 of them varying degrees of telekinesis (think Jean Grey/Marvel Girl).

This is when the 3 of them form a strong bond of friendship as they discover their powers and how to control them. However, Andrew, being the most emotionally volatile, allows his outbursts of anger to get the best of him, thus causing harm to others. This is when things start to spiral out of control, leading to a super-powered confrontation among the 3 friends.

Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell & Michael B. Jordan are relatively unknowns (for me at least) but they deliver credible performances. Especially DeHaan (who looks a little like Leo DiCaprio from certain angles, agree?), he managed to convince viewers that he was indeed a depressed social outcast who didn’t fit in either at home or in school. But when he received his incredible powers, he came out of his shell and was behaving like a normal teen, even to the point where he was basking in the limelight of popularity.

I watched this movie with very little expectation (remember I Am Number Four?) and was pleasantly surprised by the end result. For most of the movie, the audience sees the story thru the lenses of various cameras’ perspectives – Andrew’s recordings, Security Room screens and CCTVs. And this “gimmick” actually works very well here. Some may say that this “gimmick” has been used in movies such as Cloverfield and the Blair Witch Project. However, this method doesn’t distract viewers and I think it provides a lot of realism to the viewing experience.

Fans of the superhero genre would really enjoy this as the fight scenes are done perfectly. The physics of the fights were flawless, unlike many others of the same or similar genre where extensive wire-work is employed. Usually, the physics for those films are wrong. Here, the damage to buildings and trajectory of flying objects were so good I couldn’t detect anything that’s “off”.

Go watch it!

Ratings: 7/10

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