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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Teenage superheroes destroy Seattle in indie-style movie

High school senior Andrew (Dane DeHaan) uses telekinesis, a superpower he gained from a glowing alien found in a hole.
Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox
High school senior Andrew (Dane DeHaan) uses telekinesis, a superpower he gained from a glowing alien found in a hole. Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

By Kelli Henderson/entertainment editor

Chronicle is not your average superhero movie. The characters of the film do not have capes or spandex, do not have catch phrases and do not try to save anyone, except themselves. This film is a fresh insight to superpowers and what they can do to a person’s body and mind.

High school senior Andrew (Dane DeHaan) uses telekinesis, a superpower he gained from a glowing alien found in a hole.
Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox

Andrew (Dane DeHaan) is a high school senior and not the most popular boy around. He has no friends and lives on a troubled street in Seattle with an abusive drunk father and a dying mother. Andrew along with his cousin Matt (Alex Russell), a philosophical pothead, and Steve (Michael B. Jordan), a fast-talking ladies man, stumble upon a cavernous hole and encounter an alien life form. The massive glowing creature gives off high-pitch sound waves, frequencies high enough to mess with Andrew’s camera. After receiving some form of radiation powers, the boys wake to find they have super strength and telekinesis.

After they discover their superpowers, Andrew decides the boys should strengthen their powers and take their abilities to the next level. Unfortunately, the boys soon find out that dabbling with the dark side of their powers is a dangerous thing. This film can sometimes come across as a school nerd’s ultimate revengeful daydream.

The whole movie is shot through hand-held cameras or police-dashboard and security cameras. The genre known as found footage brings the movie and audience together as a whole. Director Josh Trank said because the genre of filming has become so widespread and popular in the past 10 years, viewers have come to expect certain things from the photography.

“We wanted to start this film kind of like a fake-out. We feel like we are watching this personal documentary where this kid has got personal issues going on in his home life and this is his way of sort of taking action, by creating this barrier between himself and the real world,” Trank said in a Collider.com interview. “And then 15 minutes into the film, it takes this unexpected twist, and the style of this found footage film evolves with the telekinesis and the experience of what they’re going through.”

The film is not full of shaky scenes or footage like one would see in Cloverfield or Quarantine. This little change in photography freshens the movie and instantly changes it from any other superhero movies made. It brings the audience in and makes it hard to distinguish which side of the camera one is on.

Trank took a concept normally restrained to horror films and has successfully transitioned it to an action film. It works to the film’s advantage.

Chronicle has funny sides to it as well. Just imagine any senior boy getting powers and the things they would do with them. They wouldn’t go out and save people from burning buildings. They would videotape baseballs being thrown at each other’s bodies to see them feel the pain but not break bones. The film’s comical moments resemble a PG-13 rated supernatural form of Jackass.

Chronicle isn’t a film that will receive Oscars, but a movie that captures a whole new side of a theme that has been filmed for generations and does it properly is worth seeing.

 

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