February 3, 2012
On the Big Board
|Probably the best found footage premise to date, Chronicle provides several twists on the expected superhero formula.
|It's interesting how dark this movie gets. It's an edgier treatment than Hancock, and an interesting twist on high school movies.
Found footage horror movies have been all the rage over the past couple of years. With Chronicle, screenwriter Max Landis, son of famed director John Landis, repurposes the filmmaking conceit to tell a different sort of story. Chronicle is, believe it or not, a comic book movie but not in the sense that it is a comic book adaptation. There was no Chronicle comic. Instead, this is a new iteration of the superhero tropes that have been established for a century now.
A loner, a popular student and cousin/friend who unites them discover an alien artifact. When a member of the trio reaches out to touch it, all three people suddenly discover themselves capable of superhuman feats. They can levitate objects, including themselves, they grow impervious to pain and their intellects are heightened.
Through found footage, the fate of all three teens is revealed. First, we learn the circumstances that led the antisocial kid still struggling to come to terms with his mother’s death to hang out with the class president/future congressman. We also witness the encounter that changes all three of them. And finally, we witness the ramifications as each one discovers the ability they can do better than the others and determine which of them is the most powerful.
Comic book origin stories have become a staple of 2000s cinema. Chronicle is a fresh take upon the tired premise. Whether we are watching boys grow into superheroes or supervillains remains to be seen, but this is a killer movie concept that should do very strong box office. (David Mumpower/BOP)