If you had super powers, super powers power that let you move things with your mind, fly as high as the sky and pick things up twice your weight, what would you do with it?
New comer to the film industry, director Josh Trank raises this question in his first film, Chronicle, an action, sci-fi, packed drama. Three teenagers at high school gain these powers after making a mysterious discovery that changes the path of their lives momentarily. School favourite Steve, played by Michael B. Jordan (Hit US TV show, Friday Night Lights) friends with looser Andrew, Dane DeHaan and his more popular cousin Matt, Alex Russell and causes havoc amongst the city with practical jokes, but it isn’t long until their friendship is tested when power gets to their head and a darker side from one of the friends is embraced.
The jaw dropping film is filmed entirely from Andrew’s camera point of view. He films his life and the antics he and his friends get up to, for example playing practical jokes in the grocery store and so the camera shots we see revolve around what he and his friends are filming when they use their powers, So some of the shots we see are first person, much like the ones shown in Cloverfield. But this is not like Cloverfield in the sense that mot all of the film is shot in first person, but it takes that perspective as once the camera can be controlled by the characters minds, they are able to keep the camera in the air, and this is when filming in the traditional way with panning and tilting camera shots filmed as normal, for example when the three of them are flying in the sky. Filming in this way gives the film a slow start but in the context it is filmed and along with the films humour and seriousness, it adds to the plot and builds the storyline, without this kind of filming, it wouldn’t work as it has become part of the story.
With amazing special effects, you will be left convinced that this is believable. The use of chroma key technology by using green screen is shown remarkably well throughout, during scenes where access is not possible to location sites, like that of Tibet to flying through the air. Alongside this are the kick ass physical effects such as explosions that give you the action that you are paying to see.
Story wise, without the way it is captured on camera, it would have been shockingly bad and wouldn’t be the same. Viewers would just be left with a sense of de je vu, as some of the themes shown towards the end such as darkness and betrayal are identical to that of Star Wars. In fact if you have seen Star Wars you will instantly be reminded of the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Obi One. This being said, you mustn’t be put down in watching the film. The storyline of the film is fantastic. It has humour shown in the characters rebel personality portrayed by their practical jokes, and in contrast seriousness is made known with themes such as domestic abuse and rage.
If you want something different to the regular sci-fi action dramas, then Chronicle is definitely worth adding to the list of films to watch. The special effects and camera work is perfectly executed throughout and with contrasting themes shown next to it throughout the story, I give this film a high topping, 9/10.