Want a pleasant surprise? Check out Chronicle!

I love when that happens.  When you have NO expectations for a film and then…SURPRISE!  Not bad.  I was interested in the premise–three teenage boys discover they have superpowers and things start to unravel–but I was not so excited about the found footage style.  I am not a fan of found footage movies.  They annoy me.  My thought process usually goes like this…Really? You’re still documenting “for humanity” instead of running for your life? I think not.  Yet, Chronicle takes a fresh approach and it worked for me.

First of all, it actually has a narrative and the characters have believable arcs.  (It is not just random pieces of film sliced together.)  I felt as if everything that happen would really happen.  Young men would act and react in the way it is portrayed in the film.  It helps that the three, relatively unknown actors–Dane DeHaan (reminds me of a young DiCaprio), Michael B. Jordan (very charismatic) and Alex Russell (genuine), have a great chemistry together that feels natural and authentic. It is even better that they are all talented.  DeHaan’s Andrew is actually kind of sad and you are sympathetic to his evolution into somewhat of a “villain”.  Well done!

New director Josh Trank is showing some potential here.  Trank takes the time to develop his characters and pace the tension, so when it reaches the climax, you find you are fully invested. The story idea and screenplay belong to Max Landis  (son of John Landis–who is an 80s icon) and I am looking forward to what else he will come up with.

So, if you were at all into NBC’s Heroes, you will totally enjoy this.  It is a refreshing twist on the tired style of filmmaking and will hopefully be the launch pad for a whole slew of exciting new talent!