Beyond the Books

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Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 8:49 p.m.

What We’re Watching

Hatchet reporter Arich Morales shares his latest movie experience.

Photo used under the Creative Commons License

Chronicle” (2012)

Directed by Josh Trank, “Chronicle” follows three high school teens who make an incredible discovery that grants them telekinetic powers. They grow more powerful as they begin to master their newfound abilities, until one of the three loses control and uses his abilities for the wrong reasons.

This character, Andrew Detmer (Dane DaHaan), is depicted as an emotionally unstable teenager full of suppressed rage. The film uses the “found-footage” technique, with Andrew holding the camera for the majority of the film. The audience witnesses firsthand the abuse he faces from his father, the pain and helplessness he feels of not being able to help his sick mother and the constant bullying he struggles with at school.

Andrew eventually finds himself with his cousin, Matt Garetty (Alex Russell), and Matt’s popular friend, Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan). With the camera rolling, the three stumble upon a strange ditch in the ground, where they discover something that will change their lives forever.

What I enjoyed about this film is that it introduced some themes I’ve never seen explored through a found-footage film. The handheld style of filming brings the “superhero” feel of the movie to life, providing a refreshingly realistic experience that allows audiences to truly empathize with the Andrew’s character.

At first, the movie seems to not take itself seriously. After gaining the telekinetic abilities at the beginning of the film, the three boys decide to pull numerous pranks, all of which are humorous but initially seem out of place. But when Andrew misuses his powers and sends a person to the hospital, the film takes on a more solemn tone.

People who are not fans of emotionally disturbed teenagers or teen angst should avoid this movie. Andrew’s perpetually hostile personality, however realistic it may be, can grow to be annoying.

And since the film does not elaborate on the true origins of the teenagers’ strange powers, unless the director is planning a sequel, a piece of the plot seems to be missing.

But overall, “Chronicle” provides an interesting twist to the found-footage style of filming and will keep you entertained until the very end.

Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Director: Josh Trank
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, Alex Russell, Dane DeHaan
Release Date: Feb. 3