Following on from the likes of Kick-Ass and Christopher Nolan’s Bat trilogy, Chronicle not only made superheroes (and, pivotally, supervillains) thrillingly plausible, it also did so without any silly costumes, A-list stars or – most impressively – wheelbarrows of cash (its budget: just $12m). That alone should earn the film our respect. Chronicle is more than an ambitious indie super-film, though. With its likeable characters and measured approach, it’s a human drama that slogs you right where it hurts.
Which isn’t bad for a film that capitalises on a dying fad – found footage – and makes it feel as vital and immediate as it ever was. Because for all its impressive action scenes – and they are impressive, not least the blockbuster climax – Chronicle never loses sight of the three guys at its core, all of whom react differently to their newfound superpowers. Of them all, Dane DeHaan smirks then seethes admirably, both updating the Carrie formula for a new generation and creating an intriguingly complex lead.
Word is that a sequel’s already being fast-tracked, but Chronicle doesn’t need one. It’s a perfectly self-contained contemporary tragedy with mysteries that should be left unsolved, and one of the best superhero films out there. Which, in today’s crowded market, is really quite something. 4/5
Via Grolsch Film Works