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Review Chronicle (2012): What would you do if one day you suddenly have super powers?

genre: action, adventure, science fiction

What would you do if one day you suddenly have super powers? Basically that is what Chronicle is about.

Let me get this off my chest first. I hear people praising how good the film looks special effects wise especially for a low budget movie. The estimated budget for this film is approximately $12.000.000 (12 million dollars). That might be low compared to the Hollywood Blockbuster ones but come on such an amount is still quite substantial for a found footage film where one can easily leave out things like they did and keep it cheap. That does not mean I was not surprised by some of the sequences. I sure was because you don't expect them to be in such a movie. Still once you get used to the idea it becomes apparent that this Akira wannabe exposes some serious flaws in story telling. Which I won't reveal because part of the fun is seeing where the story goes. Although my Akira remark must give you an indication. But you know what really gets to me. That none of the kids that receive their powers are overwhelmed by it. They just accept it and experiment like it is one of the most normal things to do. Not once do they express anxiety or fear if having these powers might be a bad thing. Oh my nose bleeds. It's just blood, nothing serious. And if the realization was there that what they had was incredible but dangerous it would have made the transition from a certain character so much more sense. But any attempt or hint to give some perspective on this is squandered because of cuts and edits. Perhaps to not make it too dramatic. I don't know, I feel like this film could have made a statement about some deeper issues like bullying and social awkwardness. But neglects to do this since the focus lies more on the spectacle. Real shame this. 

Decent take on the superhero movie even when none of the characters really behave like ones. Only it could have been much better. And to be honest i don't think it deserves the hype.


Sci-Fi Gene said...

Chronicle's part of a trend of superhero movies (Unbreakable, Mystery Men, Push, Next, Jumper, Kick-Ass, Super, The Incredibles, Hancock, My Super Ex-Girlfriend) and TV shows (Heroes, Misfits, Tomorrow People) that either subvert traditional Superman-style heroes or go out of their way to differentiate themselves.

I have a soft spot for Chronicle: by not going for massive blockbuster set pieces it retains more of an indie feel, and actually I suspect this is exactly how teenagers would behave if given superpowers.

I'm still waiting for the movie where Superman arrives from Krypton, discovers that due to Earth's lower gravity he has X-ray vision and eye-lasers, and pursues a modestly successful career as a gynaecologist...

chrichtonsworld.com said...

Actually I thought Chronicle was pretty conventional and if not for the found footage angle it did not feel that much like an indie production. I personally would have liked to see them put emphasis on the bullying and being left out for being different or not fit in. What it could lead to if people aren't being more accepting and showing understanding for people who are different.

And yes it would be nice to see Superman in a different light. I would very much would like to know about how Supe would have sex. I mean if he would get all carried away and get real passionate wouldn't he crush the woman he is having sex with. Or would he not have sex with normal woman and search for women who have the strength to handle him. Is Superman a sexual being at all?

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Fair enough. I liked Chronicle but I certainly agree they could have done a lot more with the bullying / fitting in issues.

Superman 2 does play a little with superhero love and sex issues although not necessarily the physical ones. A lot of this also gets explored in the comedy "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" which I would probably describe as flawed but still funny.

I definitely have to go away and watch Khrish now.




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