Chronicle’s trailer confirms that with great power comes… well, you know

Chronicle popped onto my radar back in October with the release of a teaser trailer promising a dark and gritty look into the ‘real’ world of found super powers. Anyone who has spent time reading Sci-Fi novels or comics know about this “What If…”style of storytelling and should be pretty keyed in as what to expect. Unfortunately, we’re also familiar with Hollywood’s mostly failed attempts to bring relatable characters from this genre to the big screen (i.e. Push, Jumper). Chronicle stars an impressive lineup of T.V. up and comers; Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan, and Alex Russell. Movie premise and trailer after the break.

“Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.”

Best guess:
After viewing the teaser I’ve attempted to throw my pessimism to the wind and dissect what we’ll be getting.

Shaky cam:
The film is shot in a style similar to Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project. Whether the entire film is shot in this found footage style can’t be fully determined by the trailers, but here’s hoping that it’s not. I would rather not spend my money on popcorn and snacks as opposed to Dramamine.

Douchebag hijinks:
It seems that the majority of superhero juiced newbies have to sow their wild oats by telepathically lifting up girl’s skirts or tying a bully’s shoelaces together before a wise old sage intervenes, or an uncanny incident sends them down the path of righteousness. From the looks of the trailer there will be no shortage of torment on the general public while this trio goes through their super powered adolescence.

A storyline worth talking about:
Certain cinephiles have taken to the web to express their anger about the similarities between Chronicle and the 1988 film Akira. They’re arguing that everything from the boy’s group dynamic to the over the top destruction of the city, in what appears to be the end all be all battle in the city, runs parallel to Akira’s major plot points. Normally, I would jeer right along with the other naysayers but in this instance I’m not so sure that the screenwriters have made a poor decision in borrowing from one of the greatest films (manga) in the last few decades. My hope is that they inject the highly relatable relationship of Tetsuo and Kenada into this group as they learn to control their powers. If they even remotely graze those abrasive, abusive and downright agonizing interactions the ending battle will not only carry a heavier weight, but it will leave the audience talking for weeks afterwards.


Wow factor: 
My hope is that the producers have actually thought outside the box with the traditional power usage. The sheer amounts of movies where characters possess some sort of inexplicable power have left most audiences comfortable with the basic idea. It’s time to push the envelope. Audiences are looking for action that will not only ‘Wow’ the audience, but that will get them something to think about as well. Leave the mindless explosions to Michael Bay. Give me action that I’m not expecting. The trailer shows the promise of creative power usage and clips like the one below show that the hijinks won’t always be stuffed animal and bubble gum. Here you can see as Andrew (Dane DeHaan) experimenting with his developing powers as he plays with a new found friend.


Final Thoughts: 
While I’m still skeptical about Chronicle as a whole I will say that the overall dark tone of this trailer has me very excited for this movie. If we can get strong performances from the main cast and a story that at the very least is cohesive and plausible then we may very well be looking at a movie that could redefine the genre for the next decade. Either way, I’ll be in the theater opening day for this one. Here’s hoping I don’t hate myself afterwards.


Chronicle hits theaters February 3rd in the US.

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