While Superhero films were all the rage just a few years ago, the big new craze seems to be the found footage film. With films like Cloverfield showing filmmakers that you can make a film on a small budget and still tell a story with some depth (All you need are a group of unknown actors, shaky cam and a bottle of Advil).
So it seems a film like Chronicle would have been made years ago, but is only just being release.
The film was written, directed and stared people who’ve you probably never heard of and follows’ three high school students as they find some kind of alien thing, and get superpowers.
The three characters follow all of the high school clichés: a loner nerd whose mother is dying and his father is a drunk, his douche bag of a cousin with a heart of gold and the most popular (and token black) kid in the school. I would put in their names here but the film does little to make us care about these characters that I forgot their names quickly after the film.
My biggest issue with the film is due to the found footage genre itself. While most of these films were presented un-edited from one persons perspective, Chronicle jumps from person to person and camera to camera.
This film gives the views footage with no real connection or reason why. This happens a great deal in the films climax were two of the characters fight each other and we jump from security footage to camera phone to iPad.
The footage doesn’t seem to be edited for another purpose other than to make a film, unlike something like Cloverfield.
Early in the film we’re told that the first camera is destroyed, and yet we still see the footage. We’re left to assume that the footage we just saw was destroyed, so how did we just see it?
The other issue is based around the story and the characters. I didn’t give a damn about the people on the screen. While I wasn’t the most popular person in high school, I still realize that the douche bags on the football team weren’t this bad 2D character types.
Despite this the film is still entertaining. While most found footage films are filmed like a person is running and holding a camera, it’s written into the film that the main character can life the camera and rotate it easily. So we get crane shots that give the film a good variety.
While the film isn’t bad it’s forgettable. Aside from the Akira like ending fight scene most of the film is bit of a blur of three kids acting like assholes.
The ironic thing about the film comes from a video released by the movies writer, Max Landis.
Landis’ video went over the death and return of Superman. In the video he makes fun of how the storyline was slapped together to make a quick buck. While this might be true, the fact that Landis wrote a found footage film, a genre that is total cash grab, and makes fun of someone else doing it is ironic.