A Chronicle of Confusion
As soon as my friend decided that we were going to see the movie Chronicle, my first thought was, 'What?' Chronicle, not highly advertised nor anticipated, was, in short, a surprise.
The movie details the story of three fairly different high school boys: Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan) - a bullied social outcast, Matt Garetty (Alex Russell) - Andrew's cousin and budding philosopher, and Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan) - a popular student running for class president, who, after venturing out into a forest in the middle of a party, stumble upon a mysterious underground cave. Viewers later find out that the strange glowing orb found in said cave somehow gave the three boys superpowers - telekinesis and flying, that is.
At first, the boys enjoy their new found powers; they pull pranks, ranging from scaring a little girl in a toy store to moving a lady's car through the parking lot. However, as time progresses, Andrew begins to experience the stresses that come from an abusive father and a dying mother, and such stresses lead him to take a dark turn. After a fit of rage in which he kills his good friend Steve, Andrew begins to detail his plan to become the 'apex predator'. Andrew's downward spiral eventually leads to him ending up in the hospital, at which time his father tells him that his mother has passed away. Then, in a fit of rage, Andrew goes on a rampage, destroying the city, until Matt has no choice but to kill Andrew.
Oh, and the most fascinating aspect? It's all seen through a camera that Andrew carries around.
To begin, the movie was quite an interesting concept, but it had a few cliches. Of course, Andrew cannot just be a normal boy. And he can't even have one depressing aspect in his life. No, he has to have an abusive father, a sick mother, and he has to be the constant victim of several school bullies. Throw in the stereotypical good-looking popular boy and another good guy, and you've got an altogether commonplace crew.
Also, I noticed several plot holes. Other than seeing the three boys enter a mysterious cave (warning: generally not a good idea), we have no clue how they acquired such superpowers. Government experiment gone wrong? Alien spaceship? We'll never know. Because the writers simply forgot the semi-important aspect. Additionally, while this is not crucial to the plot yet still a bit annoying, what was wrong with Andrew's mother? We see her lying in bed, coughing and having breathing troubles, and we know that she needs expensive medicine. But what illness is she suffering from?
Questions aside, the movie generally left me wondering, What exactly am I watching? I think that for half of the film, I was sitting in my seat wide-eyed, mouth agape. Now, it wasn't the most confusing plot, but choppy editing made opportunities for befuddlement. Frequent and sudden blackouts just made me think, 'Huh?'
But despite this, I did find the action scenes thoroughly interesting. The final scene of Andrew's destruction kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting for what would happen next. Couple this with great special effects, and Chronicle becomes a true action movie.
In short, plot holes and questionable choices in direction and editing left me in a state of confusion, but intense, engrossing action scenes and an interesting viewpoint made up for these. And I must say, Dane DeHaan's acting was truly chilling.