Josh Wilding Reviews: CHRONICLE

Before the movie was even released Fox were said to be talking to director Josh Trank about helming their Fantastic Four reboot. Is the hype justified? Find out here.

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By Josh Wilding - 2/1/2012


The found footage genre isn't what it once was. While movies such as Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity were initially a breath of fresh air, film lovers are left rolling their eyes when the likes of Apollo 18 and The Devil Inside hit the big screen. However, Josh Trank has injected new life into the genre thanks not only to some very clever tricks, but a great script and solid performances from the largely unknown cast. As per usual, we are given a reason as to why events are being filmed fairly early on and it never feels forced. Large periods of time often elapse between takes (the trio discovering the source of their powers and actually testing them out for example) because let's face it, you just wouldn't carry a camera around with you all of the time. It is this level of realism which results in Chronicle standing apart from not only other found footage flicks, but the formulaic world of superhero movies as a whole.

Andrew (Dane DeHaan) is a bullied loner whose cousin Matt (Alex Russell) introduces him to Steve (Michael B. Jordan) at a party he's reluctantly dragged along to after the discovery of a very mysterious hole in the ground. It isn't until they gain these powers that we begin to see them bond and actually become friends; an interesting group dynamic which sees Max Landis' clever script avoid any of the typical clichés seen a million times before in anything remotely similar to this concept. However, it doesn't take long for cracks to form in their already fairly fractious relationship as Andrew goes a step too far while using his newfound abilities. As his insecurities and messed up home life get worse, Chronicle takes a step into darker and far more serious territory which culminates in an action packed and breathtaking conclusion.

The three actors do a fantastic job of making these characters as real and relatable as as possible and it is hard to imagine this not being the movie which really kicks off their respective careers on the big screen. The decision to place Chronicle in the found footage genre makes it a far more intimate affair than had it been shot in the same way as a big budget superhero movie like X-Men: First Class and it is a blessing then that they so effectively make us believe in their friendship. A stand out scene sees Andrew, Matt and Steve realise that they can use their telekinetic powers to fly and is a perfect example to use when talking about just how good the entire film looks. The CGI is impressive throughout and never once falters, while the conclusion is arguably far more impressive than anything we've seen before in a comic book movie.

Before Chronicle was even released there was talk of Josh Trank being handpicked by 20th Century Fox to helm their reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise. It isn't hard to see why. He finds several clever ways in which to make the film look far more exciting than the "guy holding the wobbly camera" effect that we're already so used to seeing and the when the picture does come from another source, it is done so in a way which is neither jarring or distracting. Trank, who wrote the story with Landis before the latter got to work on the script, manages not only to make us care about these guys but also impresses in the action packed set pieces you would only expect to see from movies with budgets twice as big and featuring comic book characters known to millions. Chronicle isn't a superhero movie. There are no colourful characters and not a single pair of tights to be seen. What it is, is an original and refreshing take on superpowers which focuses just as much on telling a damn good story as it does delivering some amazing set pieces.

An original and thrilling cinematic debut from first time movie director Josh Trank which sets a new benchmark for future filmmakers looking to helm anything even remotely similar. You need to see this.




Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over.






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33 Comments
DarkWebs - 2/1/2012, 12:05 PM
I want to see this!! Nice Review
Sanderman - 2/1/2012, 12:06 PM
really looking forward to this movie
Ghostfire - 2/1/2012, 12:08 PM
Nice review. I might check it out.
HelaGood - 2/1/2012, 12:11 PM
GREAT review Josh! definitely gonna check it out, but I think I will wait for the video...
TheGreenRanger - 2/1/2012, 12:12 PM
FAKE.
marvel72 - 2/1/2012, 12:14 PM
this movie does look good,i'm definetly gonna check this bad boy out.
OdinsBeard - 2/1/2012, 12:20 PM
GreenRanger@ lol alright.


ps green ranger was the shit! chest armor ftw!
OdinsBeard - 2/1/2012, 12:21 PM
Tea@ yeah - don't hold your breath. no bueno. let's just say that in the future no one will utter the sentence you just did - "speaking of good movies... anybody seen kill list?"
Sourpatch64 - 2/1/2012, 12:22 PM
I saw this movie last night and it was [frick]ing terrible. Legit, WORST than The Woman in Black. Bad Acting, Bad CGI, predictable plot, uninspired story, poor character development. WAIT FOR RENTAL
TheGreenRanger - 2/1/2012, 12:23 PM
@Odinsbeard- Let our zords merge in a beautiful way underneath the rainbow bridge. Ill bring the hyper-electricity.
RorMachine - 2/1/2012, 12:24 PM
Tea, yep..I really liked it. [frick]ed up ending though that wasn't very clear, but tense and violent and brilliantly acted.
OdinsBeard - 2/1/2012, 12:26 PM
Ror@ lol you and i could not have more differing views on that movie. couldn't stand it and the ending just made it worse imo

to each their own!
RyanLantern77 - 2/1/2012, 12:28 PM
No thanks, [frick] this movie
ThaMessenger07 - 2/1/2012, 12:31 PM
It has an 88% on RT....16 Reviews 2 bad.....I'm going Friday...
Greengo - 2/1/2012, 12:31 PM
can't wait till Friday
RorMachine - 2/1/2012, 12:31 PM
haha, Creb I think it's you that must have been at the devil's medicine..I was talking to Tea about Kill List!
thewolfx - 2/1/2012, 12:35 PM
ill see it on friday hope its as awesome as you say


haters need to stfu your probly the same people who have a boner over the amazing rubberman
RaleighAntrobus - 2/1/2012, 12:50 PM
Yeah, I saw it too. It wasn't that great. I've give it a 3/5, but to each their own I guess.
OdinsBeard - 2/1/2012, 12:54 PM
Tea@ yep looks like i'm out numbered on that perticular issue! although i had no trouble understanding them so please don't rope me in with the other "yanks". honestly the only reason i watched the whole thing was the hope that we might get to see a little bewbage from Myanna Buring... alas it was not to be
Bandrews1 - 2/1/2012, 1:02 PM
Great review man, I can't wait to check it out this Friday.
GreyChaos13Zero - 2/1/2012, 1:16 PM
that was a good read, can't wait to watch this. movie looks epic?)
OdinsBeard - 2/1/2012, 1:25 PM
lol!! yep, tea not quite as satisfying.
spidermanfan2099 - 2/1/2012, 1:38 PM
Just got out the cinema... great film! Really enjoyed it, good review too man! One of the better found footage films out there (you barely notice it at times during the final scenes) and one with an actual conclusion for a change. Not everyone is gonna like it, but I did :D
luffycapri - 2/1/2012, 1:54 PM
not sure if I should take my girl to see this or lady in black on friday ?
MercMatt - 2/1/2012, 2:23 PM
Great review, man. Planning to see this movie on Saturday. Good to know that I won't be wasting my time.
pro346 - 2/1/2012, 2:30 PM
@ror what did'nt you understand about the ending of kill list? It was easy to understand!
KeithM - 2/1/2012, 4:46 PM
Saw this tonight and pretty much agree with the review - really good.
brewtownpsych - 2/1/2012, 7:59 PM
So ... found footage eh ...

Monster Movie = Cloverfield
Horror Movie = Blair Witch Project / Paranormal Activity
CBM = Chronicle

[INSERT GENRE] = A chance for some nerd on this site to make millions
SuperSomething616 - 2/2/2012, 3:08 AM
Excellent review...and really glad to hear this film is definitely worth a watch!!! Cant wait for this now :)
penguinlover - 2/2/2012, 6:17 AM
Is grif actually.... Alan moore?
DiLusso - 2/2/2012, 6:34 AM
watched this last night and i was very impressed.
well worth watching!
@grif anger issues man
plasticman - 2/2/2012, 8:05 AM
I was really looking forward to seeing this movie over the weekend. Grif's hostility has changed me...since grif is normally positive and onboard with everything I feel I must follow his opinion and not go.

Who am I kidding? I've already lined up one of my nerd buddies to see this over the weekend.
KeithM - 2/4/2012, 9:51 AM
@SuspenseSmith: Diary of the Dead? :)

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