May 31 2012
Chronicle is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Josh Trank and written by Max Landis based on a story by both Trank and Landis and starring actors Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan, and Alex Russell (none of whom I have seen in anything before, I think). This is one of the found footage movies that has cropped up so much in the recent years but they just about manage to make it slightly different.
Anyways let’s get to the story. Andrew lives in Seattle with his verbally & physically abusive alcoholic father who never got over his injury forced retirement from being a fireman. They live in their home with Andrew’s mother who is bed-ridden and slowly dying on cancer. Andrew starts videotaping his life in the final year of high school. At school, Andrew is unpopular and frequently bullied.
Andrew’s cousin Matt asks him to join him at a rave party one evening in order for him to relax and make friends but Andrew gets pushed & shoved as he carries his camera with him. Outside the club, a popular student Steve asks him to film something that he & Matt has found in the woods nearby. Andrew joins the two to a hole in the ground that emits a loud strange noise and the three of them enter the hole and find a large crystalline object that is pulsating with a strange blue light emitting from it. When they touch the object, it turns blue and the 3 start bleeding from the nose and they black out. The camera cuts out at this point. A few weeks later the 3 discover that they have telekinetic powers; able to move objects with their minds.
They experiment with it, pulling small pranks in the school & shopping malls. As they keep using it, they find that their powers start to grow. Meanwhile as the area surrounding the hole has caved in they find that the sheriff’s department has sealed off the place to avoid people falling in. As they return home Andrew, without meaning to cause that much harm, uses his powers to push a rude motorist’s car off the road and into a river. The 3 friends go in after the person and Steve rescues him from the water. After this scare Matt says that they have to follow the rules of not using their powers on humans or too much in public. Later they discover that they can use their powers to fly and do so in the skies, going past clouds and playing with a ball. Later Steve convinces the shy Andrew to use the powers in the school talent show to gain popularity. Andrew amazes his fellow students by disguising his powers as an impressive display of magic tricks, juggling, and tightrope walking. That night at a party where he is the center of attention, Andrew drinks with his classmate Monica and then goes up to have sex. However he pukes on her and humiliates himself.
Andrew starts withdrawing and becoming hostile, finally lashing out at his father when he is pushed and overpowers him. He goes up into the skies floating in the middle of a lightning storm and Steve who joins him to calm him down dies when he is struck by lightning. At Steve’s funeral, Matt confronts Andrew about the suspicious circumstances of Steve’s death. Andrew denies knowledge or responsibility to Matt, but he privately begs forgiveness at Steve’s grave. At school, once again unpopular and rebuked, Andrew lashes out when a bully mocks at him and use his power to pull 3 teeth out from the bully. Andrew begins to identify himself as an apex predator, rationalizing that he should not feel guilt for using his power to hurt those weaker than himself. As his mother’s condition worsens he decides to steal money from some bullies and then a gas station to buy medicines from her. However the heist goes all wrong and the gas station explodes killing the attendant and putting Andrew in the hospital.
At the hospital Andrew’s father comes to see him and says to his son’s sleeping body that his mother is dead and that it is all Andrew’s fault. As he is about to assault him, Andrew awakens and blows out the outer wall of the hospital room. Matt experiences a nosebleed and comes to the hospital in time to save his uncle who was dropped down the hospital building by Andrew. Matt catches up with Andrew on top of the Space Needle but Andrew grows increasingly hostile and pushes his cousin away. Andrew attacks Matt and the pair fight across the city, crashing through buildings and hurling vehicles. Injured and enraged, Andrew uses his power to destroy the buildings around him, threatening lives. Unable to get through to Andrew, Matt tears a spear from a nearby statue and impales Andrew, killing him. The police surround Matt, but he flies away.
Sometime later Matt lands in Tibet and using Andrew’s camera films himself and his surroundings. Matt vows to use his powers for good and to find out what happened to them in the hole. Matt positions the camera to view a Tibetan monastery in the distance and says “You made it” before flying away, leaving the camera behind to continue recording the tranquil scene. Good movie, well shot & made. With a smaller budget of $15 mil. the movie made $123 mil in the theatres. I recommend watching this movie. 8 outta 10!