Friday, February 3, 2012

Clif-Notes: Chronicle

If you've seen a trailer for Chronicle, you know the main points. Three friends gain super-powers through some "alien" type artifact (what it was is never actually addressed) and one of them begins to use his powers for evil. What the trailers didn't show is just how personal and just how dark they make the story.
When the move begins, you meet Andrew, the one who goes bad. Only within the first five or ten minutes, you completely understand why. His mother is terminally ill and dying in the next room over. His father is a washed-up fireman drunk who takes it out on Andrew. He has no friends and is bullied at school as the "weird kid". Life is empty for Andrew. Immediately you know why he uses his new powers for evil. Through his camera (first used as evidence against how his father treats him), Andrew records their journey. Later, there are different recording devices used to change perspective (cell phones, ipads, cop car cameras) which is a smart move is the movie makers part. After the powers, the three friends begin to stretch them, under the theory that it's like a muscle; the more you work it, the stronger it gets. After back and forth with the powers, things begin to slide. Andrew starts using his as revenge. Pulling teeth from a school bully. Throwing around his local "street gang" to steal their money. Holding up gas stations to help pay for his mother's medicine. He's outta control and there may only be two people who are able to even stop him.
This movie was a very smart and dark take on powers. The motif of Absolute Powers Corrupts Absolutely is in full swing and they don't really hold back. Best of all, you can understand and relate to both sides of the argument. If you had those powers, you would have done things all the same. You want Andrew to get revenge and to show those asshats what for but you know that he, and you, shouldn't. You want a hero to swoop in and save things while you also just want everything to burn. While the first hour is a bit slow with building the characters ands their powers, the back end twists it all and causes you to question what your morals may actually be. Simply put, I loved this movie. Comic fans should run to this one. Get off your couch and do it.

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