These guys may be asses, but I could imagine myself doing even worse with these powers.
Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to them developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities, and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over.
With ‘The Devil Inside’ basically being the nail in the coffin for the “found-footage” genre, it’s a total surprise to see that in just about a month that not only can the genre die but be brought to life by two extremely different flicks with the same gimmick.
What really amazed me the most about this flick was the fact that it’s essentially not doing anything new but in a way it is. The element of gaining superpowers delves from ‘Unbreakable’, the idea of kids becoming superhero’s themselves delves from ‘Kick-Ass’, and the whole idea of the loser nerd becoming stronger than ever before is pretty evident in just about every superhero/inspirational story, but having this format is what sets it apart from all of the others.
The film steps right into showing us these characters for what and who they are, then getting their powers and having a whole bunch of fun doing things that actual normal kids with newly acquired powers like this would probably do. Things like messing around with toys in a Wal-Mart, or lifting up chick’s skirts, or even just trying to show off in front of everybody are all definitely things that teens would do (myself included) and it’s just great to see a superhero flick that goes for more of a realistic feel rather than over-exaggerated one. All of these things I’m talking about though are very fun to watch and have perfect special effects that aren’t flashy or ground-breaking by any means, they just seem real. This is even more true when these dudes realize that they can fly, which provides the best scenes of the whole film because of just how real, beautiful, and seamless they look and feel.
However, what really got me with this flick was that for every happy and fun moment in this flick, there was a darker moment just waiting to happen. The whole film has this real fun vibe to it the whole time, but you know that some crazy ish will happen soon and when it does, it works even more and shows you the negative consequences that can come out of a gift such as this. I don’t want to get into what starts to happen by the end of the flick because I don’t want to spoil anything but the way it all works itself into the film without feeling shoe-horned, had me very impressed. It’s just like the little old saying from Uncle Ben, “with great power, comes great responsibility”.
My only problem with this film is actually the last act though. I didn’t dislike the last act because it got very crazy and dark, because that’s actually something I very much enjoyed, it was more of the whole format itself. Throughout the whole film, the whole first-person camera view works because it gets you inside of these characters heads and makes you feel as if you are right there with them the whole time, however, it starts to get a little out-of-control when they start to show footage from many other devices such as surveillance cameras, news footage, helicopter shots, swiped iPhones, and many other random shots that I couldn’t really understand where they came from in the first place. This just seemed like a huge cheat for me and actually what took me out of the film by the last act, even though I understand that it had to be used to keep the story going. It also made me wonder, just who the hell would find all of the time and space to edit all of this footage together so perfectly?!?
The real heart of this film probably lies in the performances from the three leads, especially the main dude himself, Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer. The kid looks like Leonardo DiCaprio before he got huge and perfectly balances out the whole nerdy aspect of this kid but also the scary and dangerous side of him as well. You know that this kid is messed up in the head and has a lot going on, so it’s really, really hard for you to actually just sit there and watch as he comes closer and closer to just letting all hell break loose. DeHaan embodies what I think is more like Peter Parker mixed with Magneto, perfectly and I think that this kid may just have a bright future ahead of him.
Alex Russell plays Matt Garett, and looks more like James Franco and has the likability to him that matches him as well. This dude is just really cool the whole film but you know he’s a good guy as he constantly turns out to be the moral compass throughout the whole film and gives you this sunny-side, warm vibe every time he’s around. Michael B. Jordan is also great as Steve Montgomery, playing the role as the charismatic and cool kid that has a bright future. He’s good and it’s great to see a role that could have easily been terribly unlikable, go the right way for a dude that seems to smiling more and more as the film goes on. Whenever these guys are together, the film just worked wonders for me because you could totally feel that these guys were friends not just because of the superpowers but because they actually all had something in common together, even as crazy as it may seem. It makes me think about my high-school friendships that I have now and makes me wonder if we need powers to make us get closer. On second thought, nah. I’ll just stick to writing movie reviews and they can stick to whatever it is the hell that they do.
Consensus: Chronicle isn’t anything ground-breaking or new but the whole found-footage format works in its favor with a smart script, fast-paced vibe, and amazing performances by all three of these young dudes who do have bright futures in Hollywood, but then again, you never know.