It's the origin of the moviemaking process - "the pitch" - screenwriters and their collective agents attempting to sell their sterling script to the studio. One of the tried-and-true ways to get the thing sold is use of the "it's ______ meets ______" mold - the two blanks filled with easily recognizable/mega-successful movies (e.g. 'Twilight' meets 'Titanic'). Pick the right pair of inserts and a project greenlight is yours in the offing. In the case of 'Chronicle', those two slots would read: 'Jumper' and 'Cloverfield' - two flicks with ultra-cool concepts but some seriously stark flaws. And while 'Chronicle' has its own share of shortcomings (nothing as abusive as Hayden Christensen in the lead role) - it's a surprisingly satisfying micro-budgeted ($15M) sci-fi thriller that soars higher than you may suspect.
The Seattle-set, camcorder-captured, found-footage tale centers on a trio of high school seniors: Andrew (the camera kid Dane DeHaan) and Matt (Alex Russell) are low-key cousins - Steve (
While 'Chronicle' has its fair share of hokey moments (the incessant need to justify why a character is videotaping a scene when there's no earthy reason he/she should be) and a pointless attempt to force some form of love story - the film somehow manages to work courtesy of cogent character development and actors capable of carrying it out. First time writer/director Josh Trank shows a flair for the flashy - saving his best for last - staging a skyrocketing battle-to-the-spearing-end through the lens of a litany of security and cop cams in downtown Seattle. It's all very reminiscent of the close of 'Cloverfield' in appearance but with a 'Superman II' theme - minus Superman and the Kryptonian criminals. If how you finish is the pinnacle of performance - 'Chronicle' drills the game winning kick through the uprights just as triple-zeros strike the clock.