By Samantha Olafimihan
SC Staff Writer
What attracts us to action movies? The trailers? The sound effects? The gut-wrenching sensation as you see someone ripped to shreds, a car thrown around like a piece of paper, or maybe the villain beating the crap out of the hero? How about the clips showing a boy slamming his fist down and causing an explosion, knocking over five police cars and numerous officers? Well if so, sadly to say, that’s about as good as it gets.
Chronicle is directed by Josh Trank and written by Max Landis, based on a sci-fi book created by the two. It stars Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer, Alex Russell as Matt, and Micheal B. Jordan as Steve. The film starts off with an awkward teen, Andrew, who deals with an abusive, drunk father, a weak, ailing mother, bullying at school, and hardly any friends except his “cool, yet anti-social” cousin Matt. Andrew buys an expensive video camera and decides to videotape every aspect of his life, both in and out of school. He is made fun of by the school athletes and other social cliques. When Matt convinces Andrew to go to a mansion house party, the movie picks up much-needed steam.
Steve, the popular non-minuscule-brained-jock, who is running for school president, brings Andrew to the forest where he and Matt find a random hole in the ground. The three of them go inside and are exposed to the powerful force of some alien existence. This, however, brings them closer together as friends. The three friends start to develop telekinetic abilities, including the ability to fly. Matt and Steve are comfortable just using their powers for fun/pranks; however Andrew becomes addicted to the power especially as his social life becomes slightly better.
The movie has quite a few slow scenes, like Matt’s reconciliation with an ex-beau, and conversations between Andrew and Matt. There were too many scenes in which it became boring, and instead of feeling like this is a Hollywood film, it feels more like something you would watch on a boring night. Action films have a strict purpose which is to keep the audience on edge. Even though Chronicle is primarily a sci-fi flick, there is no reason why the action and storyline should be as weak as they are. If anything, science fiction allows you to be more creative and provides much more space to both think and write outside of the defined lines of reality.
On a scale from one to ten, I give this movie a generous seven. When expecting an action movie to be as epic as Transformers, but instead you get a mediocre storyline and too many dull moments, all I can think to do is formulate ideas about how to get the ten to thirteen dollars back for the movie ticket. Maybe if they had substituted Alex Russell (Matt) for Shia Labeouf, and added a government conspiracy, the movie’s outcome would have been a lot better. For the movie being less than adequate in the entertainment department, I can only assume the book is most likely mediocre in its delivery of the story as well.
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