38. Chronicle – Josh Trank (2012)

First Viewing.

This first thing you’ll want to do after seeing this movie is google how much the budget was, well, I can save you the trouble, it was just $15m. Yep, that’s it. It looks a hell of a lot more expensive. It puts Hollywood movies, with their bloated $100m+ budgets, to shame.  So now, we’ve established it looks great, but is the actual movie any good? Yep, it’s definitely not a let down. It works on two levels, the primary one being an old fashioned ‘I’ve-got-me-some-superpowers-what-shall-I-do-now’ thriller/white-knuckle-ride genre flick, but also it works as an observation of human morality. It asks questions of what we, the average morality obedient viewer, would do if we had the power to change our life, how far would we go? Could we control ourselves? The three main characters who receive these “powers” are faced with that dilemma. Naturally the film needs to push the characters in question to extreme choices, but, you can’t help thinking, what would I do if I were in the same situation as them?

Another element I enjoyed immensely about the movie is the brevity of it all. We’re not bogged down with endless scenes involving the characters using their powers for good/bad, or them arguing about what they should do with said powers, or even the tiresome Hollywood-esque boy-pining-after-girl drama. I’m always one for seeing the growth/change of a character throughout a movie, but Chronicle isn’t really one that needs to concern itself with that too much. With the limited scope for character arc Dane DeHaan does a fine job of taking his character, Andrew, into an Anakin Skywalker-esque meltdown, even if it does happen at rather breakneck speed. The movie, as a whole, should be the benchmark for contemporary sci-fiction/superpower movies, it’s not all about big budgets, it’s how you use it, you know…

Marks out of ten – Eight

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