‘Chronicle’ Review: A Superpowered Teenage Riot

Chronicle is not a superhero movie. It is a film about three young guys who, after exposure to a mysterious energy source, develop strong telekinetic powers. More to the point, Chronicle is about how having that empowerment in common forges a strong friendship between them, and the ways they deal with the unexpected power surge.

In the sort of telling which has become so familiar thanks to comic books and the TV shows and movies that follow them, those kids should quickly learn that their powers come with an obligation to help society. Then they foil some small-time crime and forge identities through which they can become virtuous examples of humanity, evolved.

That’s not how Chronicle works. I’m not sure these characters would know how to help humanity if they wanted to. There is nothing truly ‘realistic’ in this film, but there is something intimately recognizable in the ways in which these guys deal with their new powers. They’re kids. They play around with pranks and fun. They realize they can fly, and talk about destination vacations for the telekinetically-enhanced. Then — and this is what makes Chronicle stand out, and what really makes it worth seeing — their powers become lenses that magnify their true natures, to destructive and tragic effect. Read More »

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