Chronicle is an unconventional and slightly darker take on the superhero genre where three ordinary teenagers suddenly gain super powers and are able to do things they never imagined possible. Initially they have fun, but their pranks become ever more dangerous and they must face the inevitable question of whether they can handle the responsibility that comes with extraordinary powers.
If you should come upon a glowing, possibly extraterrestrial object buried in a hole, go ahead and touch the thing--you might just get superpowers. Or so it goes for the three high-school buds in Chronicle, an inventive excursion into the teenage sci-fi world. Once affected by the power, the guys exercise the joys of telekinesis: shuffling cars around in parking lots, moving objects in grocery stores, that kind of thing. Oh yeah--they can fly, too: and here director Josh Trank takes wing, in the movie's giddiest sequence, as the trio zips around the clouds in a glorious wish-fulfillment. It goes without saying that there will be a shadow side to this gift, and that's where Chronicle, for all its early cleverness, begins to stumble. Broody misfit Andrew (Dane DeHaan), destined to be voted Least Likely to Handle Superpowers Well by his graduating class, is documenting all this with his video camera, which is driving him even crazier (the movie's in "found footage" style, so everything we see is from a camcorder or security camera, an approach that gets trippy when Andrew realises he can levitate his camera without having to hold it). Trank and screenwriter Max Landis (son of John) seem to lose inspiration when the last act rolls around, so the movie settles for weightless battles around the Space Needle and a smattering of mass destruction. Still, let's give Chronicle credit for an offbeat angle, and a handful of memorable scenes. --Robert Horton
--This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.