(Note: Yes, I know I'm extremely behind on the EotYE for 2011. I'm sorry about that, and I'll try to get to it as quickly as I can. But it's been a very busy semester, so...)
Well, something must've happened. I have no idea why, but 2012 has gotten off on a darn good foot this year. We've barely even hit the summer season and already we've got two movies that are action packed and quite good. I already talked about The Grey, though, so this is for other things.
What are those other things, you ask?
Well.... Let's take it to today's movie, shall we?
Andrew (Dane DeHaan), Matt (Alex Russell), and Steve (Michael B. Jordan) are three high-schoolers who come across a hole with an object. Soon after they come into contact with it, they begin to exhibit strange telekinetic powers. Once they begin exhibiting these powers, they begin bonding over them, using their powers to play harmless pranks on people. However, as their powers get stronger, Andrew's dark side is coaxed out, and he eventually becomes a danger to everyone around him.
And you have your standard rise and fall kind of arc that you'd get in a superhero movie. Is it familiar? You can imagine so.
Is it still impressive? You better believe it.
I guess I'll start by addressing the fact that this movie uses the 'found footage' gimmick that's used often by a lot of movies these days. But after a while, this found footage gimmick takes on an odd property, given that once the telekinesis comes into play, the characters start levitating the camera around them. I have to admit that in some instances this leads to the viewer forgetting that it's supposed to be a found footage movie. Its use remains rather uneven throughout: while there are a bunch of things in the third act that make incredible use of this gimmick, there are a few cuts between cameras that sort of ruin why they would use the gimmick in the first place. But when the use of it works, it really works.
One way it really works? It really works in constructing the action scenes. There are a lot of examples peppered throughout, but the final action scene that's embedded in the third act is absolutely nothing short of jaw-dropping. The way that entire finale is cut is incredible to behold, and it results in one of the most visceral action sequences I've seen since the rotating hallway from Inception, and for much the same reason.
And of course, this gimmick ends up taking a back seat to what's going on in the movie, which is some intense characterization. Watching the trailers for this movie, I felt that these were going to be some of the most unlikable characters in the movies. And yet, I was with the characters pretty much all the way. These characters are fully realized and fully fleshed out. Andrew's violence is extreme, but it comes out of an extremely hostile environment (horrible father, dying mother, and quite a few bullies) and we can understand where his anger comes from. The other two characters are also quite interesting to watch as they realize their telekinetic powers, and the result is a movie with characters who we root for pretty much the whole way.
And the acting? Well, I almost forgot these were actors for a second. While the fact that these three actors were a bunch of unknowns helped a bit, it's also worth noting that they had quite an easy rapport going throughout the entire movie. The chemistry between all of them sizzled when their friendship built after seeing the object, and the acting helps carry the movie where it needs to go.
So with a tight script, excellent direction, and excellent acting, Chronicle serves as yet another really good film to start the year off with. I think best of all is that this movie sheds light on some incredible talent. (This is Josh Trank's directing debut, and yet you wouldn't know it from the way the movie is cut.) So overall? Go see Chronicle.
Most definitely worth checking out.
This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.