When it comes to super powers, it’s usually well-known comic book characters who come to mind. But what would it be like to develop a superpower in the real world? The film “Chronicle,” now available on home video, examines just such a scenario.
Andrew is a shy, withdrawn Seattle High School student with an abusive father and a mother slowly dying of cancer. At the start of the film, he has taken up the hobby of chronicling his life with a camera. You know what that means: The entire movie is presented as found footage, like the infamous “Blair Witch Project” or “Cloverfield.”
Andrew carries his camera along when his cousin invites him to rave. Outside, there’s a mysterious hole in the woods. Andrew’s cousin, Matt, and their uber-popular fellow student, Steve, talk Andrew into filming the creepy hole and even exploring inside it.
Cue some unexplainable alien visuals, and then the screen goes black. When next we see our fearless three, they’ve developed telekinesis.
For a while, the trio enjoys their abilities for fun and games. However, Andrew’s life takes some dark turns, and he’s no longer willing to abide by the rules that Matt has established for using his new talents.
I really like the idea behind “Chronicle.” It got mostly positive reviews, even from the finicky Roger Ebert. However, I was not impressed with the found-footage technique. It worked in recent cop drama “End of Watch,” but in “Chronicle,” the format separated me from the characters. I felt disconnected; I was bored and felt the story was very predictable. (With great power comes great responsibility. That’s Superhero 101, folks.) Whereas some reviewers really related to the cast, it just didn’t click with me.
When it comes down to it …I’m not a fan!
McBrayer’s column appears weekly in the Courier. Watch reviews at www.coastalcourier.com.