Thursday, July 4, 2013

Movie Review: Chronicle (2012)

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: A couple scenes, effects
Cons: No characters development, predictable and slow plot
The Bottom Line
Very slow story
No character connections
Make a boring film




Predictably Flawed Chronicle

I don't remember having heard of Chronicle until a friend of mind started talking about really wanting to see it a couple weeks ago.  When he showed up having rented it the other night, I figured we'd go ahead and watch it.  It really wasn't worth even the rental fee.

Andrew (Dane DeHaan) is a teen going through too much.  His mother is dying and his father has descended into alcoholism.  The only person he really interacts with is his cousin Matt (Alex Russell).

One night, Matt talks Andrew into going to a party.  During the party, Matt and his friend Steve (Michael B. Jordan) discover a strange hole in the ground, and they get Alex to bring his ever present camera to film it.  Soon the trio discover that they have the power of telekinesis.  As they develop the power, how will it change them?

As we were waiting for the unskipable previews to be done, my friend mentioned this was a found footage film.  I was worried they might make me sick, but at least on my TV it wasn't as shaky as seeing it in the theater.  However, I still had problems with it.  Most of the movie is seen through Andrew's camera, but occasionally they cut to a different character's camera, and for the climax, they use security cameras and that kind of stuff.  The logical part of my brain was screaming, "Why would they have worked to piece it together from those things if it was found footage?"

If only that were the only problem with the movie.

The movie is just under an hour and a half.  While there are hints of trouble on the horizon, it really takes it almost an hour to get going.  Yes, that's right.  The rest of the time, we're sitting here waiting for something to happen as the watch the guys expand their powers and having fun doing it.

And when the story does get going?  So by the book predictable it's pathetic.  It would be nice for something surprising to happen, but every twist was fairly obvious before it happened, some longer before than others.

Characters?  I never felt like we really got to know them, so it was hard to invest in the film.  That's not a fault of the acting, which does the best it can with the script.

In fact, I fault the filming technique for some of my issues with the characters.  There were so many very short scenes or cuts in a scene that it was distracting and kept me from getting involved in the scene.

Finally, there's the language.  The movie was only rated PG-13, but there were way too many uses of the S word to count.  I was so sick of hearing that word by the end of the film.

So why did I give the film two stars?  There are a few scenes in the middle of the film that are fun and made me smile.

Additionally, I thought the effects were excellent.  Maybe it was because I was watching on a smaller screen, but I never saw the wires or anything else they used.  It was impressive, especially for a low budget film.

My friend who wanted to see the movie enjoyed it slightly more than I did, but not by much.  We agreed that Chronicle was a poor movie that should be avoided.

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