If you could fly, were invincible, and had super strength… Are you still with me? Good. So, if you had all of those powers, and needed, say, $700… what would you do?
You at the back? Yes. That’s right. Fly to another Country/State/whatever, and rob a bank.
You at the side? Yes. That’s right. You could sell endorsements. Maybe toy image rights. Get a cute little Kubrick. Or an action figure in a different suit, that bares no resemblance to the film it’s from. (TDKR figures… WTF?)
OK. One more. You at the front. Yes. You could go into the shop where you needed to spend, say $700, and offer protection for life. If they let the $700 slide.
What you wouldn’t do – under any circumstance – is put on a fire suit (what?), beat the crap out of some local drug dealers, and hope/pray they happened to be carrying, say, $700. AND HOPE/PRAY/NOT GIVE A SHIT THAT YOUR FIRE SUIT WOULDN’T REVEAL YOUR TRUE IDENTITY.
It is a testament to Chronicle that as this scenario played out, I still gave it 4/5.
But I can’t deny, the leap in logic has left a bad taste in my mouth.
As I say, it’s testament to what has gone before it that I didn’t mind. Also, I’ll let it slide that the end gets a bit… Hancocky… and I’ll EVEN let it slide that the end shot is dog shit. Having seen The Grey an hour before, with the perfect end shot… well, Chronicle didn’t end well. At all. In fact, all three of the elements listed are in the last 15/20. So I guess that tells its own story. Maybe when I’ve got the Blu, (because I will get the Blu), I’ll “do a Red State”, and stop the film when the horns stop. Why put myself through that crushing disappointment again?
Up until that last 15, Chronicle was every bit the film I wanted to say.
In fact, I’d top so far as to say the film had elements of genius. Much like Superman Returns, (Hey, come back… I’ll explain), it gives time for the elements you wouldn’t think would bother it. Yet, in doing so, it gains a heart. A solid heart. So (seemingly) endless shots of a camera (FLOATING!), around our Heroes room – well, they resonate.
When he helps his Mum, who is not in a good way at all, by rolling her over, and tucking her in… Well, you just admire the film for having big brass balls. Putting its heart on its sleeve. His Mum says “thank you”, while she’s still asleep – and you know it’s a pivotal moment. The fact out Hero has done this without touching her, and by instead “using the force”, you’re reminded that you’re watching a super hero movie. Chronicle breaks out of that mould on several occasions, though.
From the initial discovery of their powers, (that give them nose bleeds), to the scene of them playing NFL… IN THE SKY (!), the film is chock full of surprises.
For me, the best ones were the little scenes. I’d missed the main trailer right up until The Grey ironically, so all of the tricks they pull would have been a nice surprise. One bit, again in our Heroes room, is sensational. Stopping a spider, again with his powers, he levitates it, and on his face we can see him debating lowering it – or pulling it apart.
The whole film reminded me of Anakin’s descent into darkness – if t had been done right. All of these powers… how do you use them?
Another film Chronicle reminded me of is Unbreakable, and I don’t say that lightly at all. I love that film. Shooting all of the powers so matter of fact, and in that high school environment, gave it a fresh take.
After I had left, (and my thoughts on that last 15 have got less fond by the minute), someone said: “Is it like Heroes?”. I didn’t really know. I’d avoided that show like the plague, after I saw it for the cash cow it turned out to be. Destined for series after series of diminishing returns. Dexter it aint. But I could see his point.
There’s nothing startling new about Chronicle. It’s been marketed very well. It makes you think you’ve never seen anything like it. And for a good hour or so, you haven’t. But as only Hollywood can do, they wanted too much. Aimed too high. So by the end, when you really want two characters opposite each other in a coffee shop, maybe with a Shyamalan flashback, you get helicopters crashing into buildings and shit blowing up.
I wanted them to explore the homoerotic elements a bit more, (they’re there). I wanted them to slow it all down a bit. I wanted them to shape up a mythology that could be explored again. I wanted Nic Cage to scream, “Kyrptoniiiiite”.
None of those things happened.
Shame. And not in a great, Fassbender type way.