Movies: Chronicle

[I just want to insert, again, how irritated I am with this Chrome update. If you are reading this site using the latest Chrome browser, you are probably not viewing it in all its glory, as the latest Chrome has stripped this blog of its customizations, links, archives, etc.]

Okay, so Chronicle. It's Stephen King's Tommyknockers filtered through Blair Witch. Three high school students in the Seattle metro area find some underground, unspecified "thing" and develop superpowers. And one of these kids is an abused underdog named Andrew who has taken up videoing his life. Andrew's father is a drunk living off his disability checks and his mother is terminally ill. It doesn't take much brain power to figure out where the story is headed.

But first the viewers are forced to wade through a bunch of other stuff: Andrew and his cousin Matt and their friend Steve learning to use their powers, then showing off at a school talent show, etc. Matt sees the need to put some rules in place, but rising tension in Andrew's home life eventually spurs him to break those rules. I won't go into all the details—it is more or less self-evident from my description above and sufficient to say that the final act is about Andrew deciding he is at the evolutionary apex and therefore should not feel bad about hurting others who are lower on the food chain than he is. And then he and Matt tear up Seattle as they battle out their opposing views.

Besides the plot being predictable, Andrew's dialogue gets clunkier and more cliché as the movie goes on.

In truth, it's a cool idea that needed a bit more plot behind it and better character development overall. I would have been more impressed if Chronicle had surprised me in some way. As it stands, everything had a predetermined destination, and the journey was not all that interesting either. While I can feel bad for Andrew as a bullied, friendless teen with a crap home life, those circumstances in themselves do not make a plot. They merely set the plot up for its inevitable conclusion.

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