Its said that youth is wasted on the young. Just think how bad it might be if they had superpowers too.
Chronicle is a finely tuned example of the found footage film genre. In it, three teenage boys, Andrew, Matt & Steve, come upon a mysterious hole in the ground, inside which is an even more mysterious object. They enter the hole as your typical teens. They exit with the power of telekinesis. The squirrelly-emo one of the three is documenting the events with his video cam.
This is like handing teenage boys $1,000,00 cash and telling them to have fun.
The second act, where our teens discover how to harness their new-found power is brilliant. It’s exactly how you expect three guys to act. At first they skip stones with their mind. Then while playing at the table, they figure out how to block a fork from stabbing their hand. Then they fly, all while manically giggling about how cool it is.
A nice design element of the film is the subtext of how these guys don’t seem quite mature enough to handle their power. Then, you think of what could go wrong. Then, things go wrong. The third act mayhem is typical and less interesting.
While this downward spiral is palpable, Chronicle works because you believe how these guys are living in the moment.
I was pleasantly surprised how well the film gels. I was tired with found footage style the moment The Blair Witch Project came out. This breathed some new life into it.