2012, UK / USA. Drama / Action / Thriller. PG-13. Director: Josh Trank. Writers: Max Landis, Josh Trank. Cast: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan.
We see the world through Andrew Detmer’s eyes as: 1) A teenage boy who gets beaten by his alcoholic father, 2) An underdog who gets bullied at school, 3) A shy boy who never got laid, and 4) A good boy whose mother is dying. It’s melodramatic and sappy. Thank God, it’s like we’re watching a finely edited amateur video on YouTube projected to the big screen – so Chronicle feels real.
Even that alien crystal stuff that Andrew and a couple of his friends find inside a humongous hole looks quite believable. We find this entity after we follow Andrew’s daily struggles in details. Feeling depressed enough, we are then taken to the fun part where Andrew and the gang find out that their encounter with that alien matter has given them a superpower. What would good teenagers do when they find that they have a superpower? They put on a magic show at the school.
Problem is, Andrew has too many battles in his life that he has to overcome. And, with his superpower, he can do more than overcoming them. He can win them all. And he wants to win them all.
While the story actually runs quite slow, Chronicle is filled with awesome moments. And, Andrew Detmer’s character development arc – as the main course of this presentation – ends in a satisfying climax. The handheld camera techniques are not justified quite well all the time, but we can forgive that, can’t we? The important thing – at least for me – is that this is a character-based super-villain story. Though it’s not the first one, but the documentary style serves the purpose to make Chronicle stronger. And, with no good-versus-evil plot, this “Chronicle of Andrew Detmer” has become a stand-out coming-of-age story.
Chronicle is a great treat. I want to see more of Dane DeHaan in the future. And, I wish every superhero movie had a background story like this one. That way we can sympathize even more to villains like, let’s say, Magneto.