David Jenkins’s review published on Letterboxd:
'Chronicle' is the film that introduced everyone to the brilliant Dane DeHaan and for that I am grateful. All three of the young leads are great here but DeHaan steals the show. He ensures his character Andrew is someone you root for and his corruption brought about by his new found power is easily the strongest element of the film. His journey from innocent and powerless to an almost unstoppable force is superbly realised and acted to deliver a compelling take on what is essentially a superhero origin story.
The script from Max Landis is impressive with on point humour, likeable characters and a fast paced original story. All three of the characters have their traits and quirks that distinguish them from one another and the talented young actors bring them to life and anchor the film. Their chemistry together is strong during the film's early scenes as they are coming to terms with their powers. These moments were the highlight of the film for me, being both humorous and serving as a realistic response to how people would react in these circumstances. Normally in found footage films the character moments can be tedious but in 'Chronicle' the lead trio of actors are likeable and do great work to make these scenes entertaining. It worked effectively for me in establishing a connection with the characters and making later events all the more impactful.
The downside unsurprisingly is the films ending which suffers the usual fate of the found footage genre. As the film ramps up the action and spectacle it's truly thrilling and makes for a franticly fitting final act. The ending however has an awkward final scene that feels tacked on to avoid the credits rolling straight after the story's climactic set piece. The final scene added here tries to avoid the abrupt ending normally adopted by the genre but for me it was an underwhelming note to conclude on.
The young talent involved in the film are all moving onto bigger budget superhero movies which I am definitely excited about. DeHaan is Harry Osborn in the new Spider-man film and director Josh Trank is taking the helm of the new Fantastic Four. Michael B. Jordan is joining Trank for that film as Johnny Storm and is probably the best part of the casting for what can only be described as a 'different take' on the franchise. I'm reserving judgement till its release but if Trank can repeat his success from this film with a bigger budget then we might be in for a treat.
When compared to most superhero movies 'Chronicle' stands equal and in quite a few cases it is vastly superior to previous bigger budget efforts. Its an entertaining and refreshing addition to the currently bloated superhero genre which suggests to me that 'Chronicle' can only be considered a resounding success.