Movie Review: Chronicle

I’d heard about Chronicle when it was in theaters, and I was quite excited to finally see it. The premise sounded really cool: a found-footage movie about some kids who stumble across some sort of alien power that gives them superpowers. Great, right? Plus. Netflix had it pegged as an almost 4 star (out of 5) film for me, and Netflix is usually right these days, now that I’ve plugged 2,062 ratings into its site.

Got the movie, watched it with Denisa.

Didn’t like it.

There were parts I liked. The premise was nifty. The climax was certainly diverting and interesting, more or less. It’s the parts in between–everything else, really–that didn’t work for me.

First up is the found-footage format. This is the movie style where it pretends that no one directed the movie. That the filmmakers just stumbled across some footage and are presenting it to the audience with little real editing. Blair Witch Project was a famous example. Paranormal is a more recent one. I’m not a fan of the style, really. I feel like it gets too chatty and wordy. In their efforts to make the film appear like an amateur filmed it, the film . . . feels like an amateur filmed it. Go figure. I like my movies tight and taut. I don’t like a whole bunch of fat to chew on before you get to the good stuff.

There’s a lot of fat here.

The movie spins its wheels as it goes nowhere for the first third of the film. I get that they’re trying to introduce the characters, but because it’s found footage, they have to go through so many hoops to do it, that it just gets tedious. By that time, I’m just bored, so when the good stuff actually gets going, it takes a lot to get over my filmic inertia. (There’s a new phrase for you. I just made it up.)

It also doesn’t help that I don’t like the main character. At all. He’s whiny, broody, and dark. I have no real desire to see him succeed. I feel bad for him, yes. But there’s a difference between pitying someone and rooting for them. I never rooted for the protagonist. And then he goes downhill from there.

In the end, I’d give it 1.5 stars out of 4. Really disappointing, and easily missable.

Any of you care to add your two cents?

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