David Merryweather’s review:
Three annoying teenagers find this thing which gives them telekinetic powers and the ability to fly. Now that they are the most powerful people on Earth they do the obvious and put on a magic show in order to impress girls.
Of course, that isn't the only thing they do, but it at least be the most imaginative. Otherwise they use their gift to levitate Pringles into their mouths and perform sub-Jackass pranks, which, in fairness, would arguably be a likely reaction if dull-brained brats found that they had super powers. Unfortunately, such characters, and their antics, don't make good company for the viewer. Especially when the worst offender is the the lead character.
He's a Schopenhauer-quoting bullied-by-everyone loser who starts off wanting to go to Tibet and, like, meditate with all the monks and shit - because he's one deep bro - but in the end his powers corrupt his mind and he ends up talking about being an 'apex predator' and having super nerd-rage. Duuuude...
Chronicle might have the most mystifying use of 'found footage' yet, as well. It really isn't enough to just have a character decide that they are going to "film everything now" as justification for a whole movie to be made up of wobbly POV cam footage - especially when you have to end up breaking the rules when it suits, as happens here, and also introduce another character who has also decided that they are "filming everything now" when you want to have scenes where the lead character isn't present. Not only that, in Chronicle, the footage was never 'lost' for it to be found. Director Josh Trank gets in such a muddle with it all it's amazing that he didn't just drop the entire conceit altogether.
What with this, Kick Ass and the horrible Super, I think the whole what-if-dweebs- really-DID-become-super-heroes sub-genre of films to be one of my least favourite things to have happened to cinema in recent years. And, on the whole, I just found Chronicle to be badly executed and completely unimaginative, and the characters were tedious and risible. If I ever want to see 'unlikeable' teens dealing with strange, new powers then I think I'll stick with Misfits.