28 year-old Josh Trank employs the omnipresent found footage gimmick, brought to new light by The Blair witch Project and popularized by Paranormal Activity, in his directorial debut Chronicle. Not only is he keen on using it uniquely, going for a superhero film (as opposed to horror), he uses it wisely. The outcome of his efforts is the most realistic Superhero movie to date.
Trank doesn’t go too hard on establishing realism or creating suspense. He takes it in his stride. Everything falls into place organically. And realism establishes itself automatically. But that doesn't let Trank doesn’t scrimp on his characters. Within less than an hour of screen-time, we see the three leads progress through an adventurous journey. One of them, Andrew, is newer than his comrades to such a journey and it initiates major changes to his psyche.
Andrew (Dane DeHaan) is an introverted kid dealing with bullies at school, a drunken father at home and a dying mother at the hospital. He’s all alone in this forsaken life of his. To distance himself from it and see it through the eyes of an outsider, he decides to film his life events. Andrew’s cousin, Matt (Alex Russell), invites him half-willingly to a rave party spread with hot chicks and glow sticks. Andrew brings his camera along. He eventually strays off by himself outside. Steve (Michael B.Jordan), the popular kid at high school, walks up to him, ecstatically urging him to film something that he and Matt have discovered. What happens here turns their lives around inevitably, particularly Andrew’s. I don’t want to be a killjoy. So I’m going to let you find out for yourself. You’ll agree that Chronicle is one of the year’s best.