Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chronicle (2012) - Review

This movie is bad. I mean really bad. Like, 'so bad it's hilarious' kind of bad.  Like 'have the screenwriters ever written anything before?' kind of bad.  Mixing a superhero origin story (and I use that very loosely) with a found footage gimmick is certainly an interesting choice.  Too bad the two mix about as well as two new partners at the beginning of a buddy cop movie.

The biggest problem with the movie is the writing.  It's awful.  The movie attempts to build up the characters for the first twenty minutes or so before they find the power source thing that gives them all telekinesis, and it fails spectacularly.  From the very first scene, the main character comes off as an annoying and whiny CW wannabe.  Add to this, the antics of the three main characters using their powers to be complete douches and that's a good way to make everyone in your film unlikable.

The second biggest problem of the film (more annoying, less funny) is the camerawork.  The film is constantly trying to get around the pointless found footage aspect constraint that it's set for itself.  You can tell it desperately wants to break away and just become a normal movie with every contrived shot (and they get exponentially more ridiculous as the movie goes on) and it brings up the question.  Why make your movie have this stupid gimmick if all you're going to do is distractingly try to find ways around it?  It's maddening and really gets annoying quickly.

Those two problems really mash together for a perfect cocktail of badness.  Add to that some truly horrendous CGI effects (we're talking like Syfy Channel levels of cheesiness) and it's really just the most laughably bad movie in some time.  It wouldn't be nearly as awful if it didn't take itself so seriously.  But by the end of the film, we're supposed to care what happens to these characters, and, to be honest, I just was trying to figure where these camera angles were coming from.

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