Movies about teenagers with superpowers, they suck, right? No, seriously, I’m asking because I haven’t seen I Am Number Four or Blink or any of those other films. I saw The Craft, but that has more to do with knee socks.
It’s just not a very interesting topic. I mean, it could be, but the odds are against it. It just lends itself to pandering power fantasy. And not to me, so, why should I care?
What’s more, the reviews that accompany these movies usually reflect an abysmal character, and they don’t seem to do much at the box office, so you kinda gotta wonder why they keep making them.
But they do, which brings us to Chronicle, the first super-teen movie in 35 years that doesn’t suck! I’m evoking, somewhat reservedly, Brian De Palma’s The Fury which, well, maybe that’s not a great example.
Anyway, this is the story of three kids who find themselves with telekinesis, the ability to move things with their minds. It starts out slow, with our three protagonists—one a moderately well-liked philosopher, one a class leader and one an outcast—going about their lives in the manner of high-school students.
Sure, it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye, usually from telekinesis-related hemorrhages.
The story is told from the POV of the outcast, who has video-recorded the events Blair Witch-style. This might make you roll your eyes at first, but there are some really clever exploitations of this conceit. At first you get a little bit of the shaky-cam but mostly a static POV as someone sets the camera down and the scene unfolds in that frame.
But then, later, well, hey, they’re telekinetic—so the camera can be moved completely independently of being held by a character in the movie.
Another interesting side-effect is that very mundane special effects tend to have a little more impact, at least at first. You’re surprised to see simple levitation in this cinema verité style. It sort of wears off a bit toward the end when all hell breaks loose.
The movie unfolds relatively slowly as well, allowing the characters some time to develop, even if they’re drawn from some pretty well-worn high-school archetypes.
It does hit some wll-worn grooves by the end, but overall it was an entertaining take on a genre which is usually tiresome. The Boy and The Flower were entertained, if not enthused.