Movie review: ‘Chronicle’ makes old sci-fi tropes seem new
“Chronicle,” the impressive debut picture of director Josh Trank and screenwriter Max Landis, mashes up conventions of several genres – from teen-angst dramas to superhero sagas (most notably “Spider-Man”) to found-footage films (think everything from “The Blair Witch Project” to “Paranormal Activity” and “Cloverfield”) – yet still manages to seem novel and innovative.
For freshmen, their work is remarkably bold and self-assured. That may be due to their lofty Hollywood pedigrees. Trank is the son of Oscar-winning documentarian Richard Trank (“The Long Way Home”), and Landis’ dad is John Landis, maker of such landmark comedies as “Animal House” and “The Blues Brothers.” So they would appear to have filmmaking in their blood.
With the quick, savvy “Chronicle,” they glibly employ the shopworn convention of found footage and put a video camera in the hands of anguished high-schooler Andrew Detmar (Dane DeHaan) to record a sort of Bizarro World version of “Spider-Man,” with Peter Parker turning his powers to the dark side.
Andrew is a fairly typical teen type – highly sensitive, shy, bullied at school and enduring a cruel home life with a bed-ridden, terminally ill mother and an abusive, alcoholic father. Early on, after one of his father’s violent tirades, he picks up a used video camera and declares he “will film everything from here on out.”
The cool, philosophy-spouting Matt (Alex Russell) is Andrew’s cousin and only friend, and one night he drags Andrew and his camera to a boozy party. There, the two hook up with popular class presidential candidate Steve (Michael B. Jordan) and happen upon a mysterious cave-like sinkhole in the woods.
The three brashly make their way down into the dank passage with camera in hand, and what they discover there radically changes their lives and their fates.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 18732Oklahoma devastated by second round of twisters
- 15952Read live updates from the May 20 Moore tornado
- 12196Several kids pulled out of Oklahoma school rubble alive
- 10745How to help tornado victims
- 10241At least 51 die in Oklahoma tornado, official says
- 2753Oklahoma twister tracked path of 1999 tornado
- 2638Oklahoma City tornado so large, may not be recognized, officials say
- 2099Twitter reaction from the sports world on the Moore/OKC tornadoes
- 1489Police: School near OKC directly hit by tornado
- 1234Oklahoma State football: Limiting Wes Lunt's transfer options makes Mike Gundy look bad
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients