CHRONICLE has an interesting premise and storyline with some positive lessons, but it’s marred by a mixed worldview with lots of PG-13 foul language.
Young Andrew Detmer is a lonely teenager with an alcoholic abusive father and a dying bedridden mother. Andrew decides to start documenting his life with a video camera. He also reconnects with his cousin, Matt, who starts giving him rides to school.
Matt invites Andrew to a party, where they meet up with Steve, a popular student who’s running for Student Body President. In the woods next to the fancy party house, they discover a hole with a strange humming sound. They enter the hole and find a glowing meteor rock. Or, could it be a piece of alien technology?
Whatever it is, the next day, Matt, Steve, and Andrew discover they are beginning to have telekinetic powers. The powers start slowly. They find if they use them too quickly, they get nosebleeds.
Eventually, however, the three boys begin to master their new power. They find they are able to move cars or crush them, scare little children in toy stores, and, soon, they are able to fly.
Steve convinces Andrew to perform an amazing magic act with his powers at the high school talent show. Andrew attracts the attention of a girl with dyed red hair at the follow-up party, but he’s a little drunk, and, when he takes her to a bedroom upstairs, she leaves in disgust when he vomits.
Now terribly depressed, Andrew begins to believe that he’s better than anyone else and that Matt and Steve are his enemies. Steve tries to reach Andrew while they’re flying during a rainstorm, but Andrew kills Steve with one of the lightning strikes.
After the funeral, Andrew has a confrontation with his father. This makes him go even nuttier. He tries to steal money to get expensive drugs his mother needs. The theft goes badly, however. In the wake of this disaster, Andrew has another confrontation with his father. Will his cousin Matt be able to stop Andrew from destroying the whole town?
Today’s teenagers are the most self-photographed people in history. CHRONICLE picks up on this trend by focusing on the viewpoint of its teenage characters. Also, Andrew’s own camera becomes an extension of his personality. He even uses his newfound abilities to move the camera around with his mind.
All this gives CHRONICLE a unique, fascinating perspective on the superhero movie and on “found-footage” movies. Viewers will be on the edge of their seats wondering what Andrew and his two friends will do next.
CHRONICLE has a strong, positive theme that implicitly echoes Stan Lee’s SPIDER-MAN axiom, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Andrew’s cousin tries to get Andrew to control his powers, but he loses that battle when Andrew’s life spins out of control. In the end, Matt has to risk his own life to stop Andrew’s destructive spree.
Despite this positive moral premise, CHRONICLE contains excessive foul language. Also, although there is brief positive Christian content, there are also references to Buddhist monks in the Himalayas. This content occurs when Andrew suggests to his friends that they fly to the Himalayas and show the monks what they can do. In contrast to this, Matt thinks and eventually decides that he wants to use his powers to help people. Matt’s decision becomes a powerful statement during the movie’s last scene, but the ending also contains shots of a Buddhist temple in the snow-covered Himalayas. Thus, overall, CHRONICLE has a mixed pagan worldview, although it doesn’t have any references to specific Buddhist teachings that contradict the Bible or Christianity. All in all, however, extreme caution is suggested for CHRONICLE, which also contains some scenes of underage alcohol use.
(PaPa, FRFR, CC, BB, RoRo, LLL, VV, S, AA, MM) Strong mixed pagan worldview with references to Buddhist monks in Tibet, a Christian funeral, and strong moral premise that implicitly echoes the idea, “With great power comes great responsibility,” mixed with Romantic, pagan elements of teenage rebellion, partying, and a dysfunctional family situation with an alcoholic father stressed by a dying wife; about 53 obscenities (mostly “s” words), five strong profanities, and 14 exclamatory light profanities; strong, sometimes intense violence includes teenagers with telekinetic powers fight one another, one causes lighting to kill one, one slams people against objects and moves police cars, he also causes explosion and fights with his father and slams teenager against pavement after lifting him up, teenagers hit with rubber balls, teenagers scare little girl with floating teddy bear in store, teenagers slams convenience store clerk against wall, shotgun goes off and causes spark at gas station that burns evil teenager and puts him into hospital, abusive father hits teenage son, character impaled by long thin object on statue, police surround evil teenager with guns a couple times, teenager uses power to drive truck off road; no sex scenes but drunk teenager goes upstairs with girl at a party but she comes running out after he suddenly vomited; no nudity; alcohol use, father comes home drunk, teenager gets drunk after starting to drink at party, and other implied underage alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, abusive father character, uncontrolled anger, teenage partying, bullying, mean pranks.
CHRONICLE is a different kind of superhero science fiction movie. Young Andrew Detmer is a lonely teenager with an alcoholic abusive father and a dying mother. Andrew, his cousin Matt, and another teenager discover a strange hole in the ground. In the hole, they find a glowing meteor rock. Or, could it be alien technology? Whatever it is, they soon discover they now have telekinetic powers. As they learn to use these powers, Andrew’s personal life spirals out of control. He begins to use his powers for evil and to get revenge on his abusive father. Will his cousin Matt be able to stop Andrew from destroying the whole town?
CHRONICLE offers a unique, fascinating perspective on the superhero movie and “found-footage” movies. Viewers will be on the edge of their seats wondering what Andrew and his two friends will do next. CHRONICLE has a positive theme that implicitly echoes the SPIDER-MAN axiom, “With great power comes great responsibility.” However, despite brief Christian references, there’s lots of foul language, some underage alcohol use, and a couple references to monks in the Himalayas. Thus, extreme caution is suggested for CHRONICLE.