Loo Review: Chronicle

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Summary: three teenagers chance upon the powers of telekinesis and can then makes stuff move around with nothing but the power of thought. There’s more to it, but that will get you started.

5 Good Things.

1. The cast of relative unknowns. They’ve all done bits and pieces, but none of them were marquee faces. When you’re being asked to buy the ‘found footage’ idea, that kind of helps. Especially given that you’re already being asked to buy the whole ‘moving cars with nothing but the power of the mind’ thing.

2. It’s a different take on ‘superpower’ movies. These guys could change the world and make it a better place, but of course they don’t. They’re teenagers. They use their powers to arse about.

3. The pace. The story barrelled along and the movie didn’t outlive its welcome. (Unless they play a special short version for tightarses like me who come on cheapie night.)

4. The use of various camera angles, from the protagonists, the CCTV cameras, onlookers. It’s gimmicky, but it did give me pause to reflect on how much of our lives are captured on video these days, whether we know it or not. That’s right, I saw a popcorn movie about kids with superpowers and I spent at least five seconds pausing to reflect.

5 Bad Things.

1. I was asked to suspend too much disbelief. So three teenage guys – two of them social misfits – can suddenly do anything with nothing but the power of their minds, and the most they ever extend this power to the women around them is to lift one skirt to check out some undies? One upskirt? That’s it? Whoever wrote this does not know the creative power of the teenage male mind.


“HEY!” cries my viewing audience of nobody. “Ripped off! Usually there are 5 points under each heading!”

That’s right, and in a first for a Loo Review, the rest of these points lie behind the jump, because they are SPOILERS!

Let’s make that clear:

Beyond the jump, THERE ARE SPOILERS.

“Yeah, it’s OK, but I still can’t telekinesis a bra-strap off.”

Hey, you jumped! Good for you. Just like those guys in this movie who can jump off buildings and kill each other and stuff.

The rest of the 5 Good Things.

5. The non-Hollywood ending. I was waiting for the saccharine last-minute redemption for Andrew, the poor, beaten-up kid. Would he come to his super-senses? Would Matt take a hail of bullets for the misunderstood cousin he used to hate hanging around? Would nasty dad get his come-uppance? Nope, instead it’s a giant spear through the heart. Thanks, cuz. Why don’t you go get my Dad a beer.

(The Nepal epilogue was lame though.)

The rest of the 5 Bad Things.

2. Call me too inquisitive for my own good, but we never found out what that thing was that gave them the powers. The authorities just bulldoze the hole in, put a sheriff on half-hearted guard duty, and no one mentions anything again. So it’s still there, waiting to be discovered, by another group of schoolkids, or some stray miners, or the government. There’s the sequel sorted.

3. Another stupid plot point quibble: Steve wants so badly to go into politics, and yet the class president thing just disappears off the radar and he spends the rest of his short life hanging out with two losers? It doesn’t occur to him to use his new powers to smash the election and go on to become the greatest President the USA has ever seen? Sheesh! Teenagers. They just don’t know what’s good for them. You could have made the school careers counselor’s day, Steve.

4. I saw the airliner coming a mile off. Maybe it’s because young DrJavaBeans thought he was going to be an air force pilot, but as soon as I saw them chucking a football around the sky, the first thing I thought was “I hope they got airspace clearance.”

5. Obviously a lot of the budget went into the CGI. What a pity they couldn’t spare a few bucks just to make the flying scenes look just a bit less like they’re swinging around on a trapeze harness.