Movie Review: Chronicle

We’ve all seen our share of superhero movies. Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of them for the most part over the years. Sure, I grew up with Superman– there was an undeniable magnetism in Christopher Reeves that would turn any moviegoer into a fan. And sure, I ran around in Wonder Woman Underoos like many other 70s babies. And well, ok, who didn’t love Batman when it hit theaters in 1989-“ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” But these caveats aside, I shied away for the most part from flicks centered around superheroes whenever they hit the theater.

All that changed for me when X-Men arrived in 2000. Maybe my passion in film had allowed me to finally look at movies, all movies, in a whole new light; to think about the stories behind the characters, the messages of the films, and in some cases, check out mentally, and simply watch the good guy beat the hell out of the bad guy. It may have taken me awhile, but I finally got it, and superhero flicks no longer seemed juvenile, or even boyish, but well, pretty darn fantastic.

This past Friday I checked out Chronicle. It had been on my list of movies to see for a few months when the trailer began making the rounds. I was curious about a movie where three high school friends possessed a power that gave them the ability to move things with their mind, liked its short run time (too many movies have run on and on lately when really, they could have ended way before the 2 hour mark), and (honestly) the movie I wanted to see was playing later than I thought my sleep eyes could handle (the joys of getting old).

I sighed in disappointment when I realized after the first few minutes it was a found footage film . I’ve not been a fan of those either, except for Blair Witch which scared the hell out of me — the guy, standing in the corner at the end….what the hell was that?!?! But I quickly got over it as the movie unfolded.

Wrapped around three classmates who make a discovery that leads them to develop a strength that can only be described as Godlike-telekinesis,  the three become unlikely friends, and as their powers grow, use it to deal with the everyday perils of high school and their lives as they know it.

It wasn’t your typical superhero movie, but when the lights came on and credits began to roll, I found myself pleasantly surprised. There are moments that make you laugh out loud and moments of darkness that pull you so far down you wondered how it was possible in a film centered around such a simple story arc can go from one emotion to the next. But it did and in the end what I saw was an incredible story centered around the simple question of what if – what if one day you were given a power that could change your life, powers like those of a superhero? Would you use it for good, bad, or could you handle it?

Through its unique story, told through characters you can’t help but like, Chronicle answers that question simply: you wouldn’t use it, it would use you. And unlike superhero movies which leave you wanting the abilities of its characters, this movie left you glad you didn’t. To me, it was a fabulous twist on the superhero movie and for that, it gets a solid thumbs up from me.

Have you seen Chronicle? Did you like it? What are your favorite superhero movies?

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