Directed By: Josh Trank

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan, Michael Kelly, and Alex Russell

It's hard to go to the movies and find something fresh and new.  Hollywood is not a place where there's a great deal of innovation anymore.  There's still some hope though.  Some filmmakers have dared to turn traditional filmmaking on its head by making mockumentaries.  These documentary-like flicks are the next big thing in cinema.  Just think about movies like Paranormal Activity and District 9.  Those films paved the way for some of the innovation we're getting today.  Now, I will be the first to admit that there have been some mockumentaries that just suck.  The Devil Inside is a great example.  Though there have been a few crappy mockumentaries recently, Josh Trank's superhero flick Chronicle is not among them.

High school teenager Andrew (Dane DeHaan) is definitely a pariah at his school.  Nobody really likes him, and he gets his ass kicked quite a bit.  For some strange reason, Andrew decides to buy a camera and record the story of his life.  He just doesn't know how interesting his story will be.  While at a rave one night with his cousin Matt (Alex Russell), he finds himself to be the odd man out.  Walking around a party with a camera isn't exactly kosher, so he goes outside.  While out there, popular classmate Steve (Michael B. Jordan) approaches him and asks him to bring his camera to record something he and Matt found in the woods.  They go to a mysterious hole in the ground and explore it.  While they're underground in the hole, the camera suddenly goes dark.  When the camera starts rolling again, the trio finds that they have superhuman abilities.  Now, they just need to figure out what to do with them.

First and foremost, I have to say that Chronicle is freaking hilarious.  I was really pleasantly surprised by this February release.  I laughed so much during this movie that I might have teared up a bit.  The antics these boys got into once they got their powers were pretty damn entertaining.  We don't normally get this kind of good stuff so early in the year.  I have to applaud director Josh Trank, the cast, and the crew for putting together a real gem here.

The mockumentary filmmaking style Trank uses in this superhero flick lends itself to a grittier tale.  Chronicle does not feel like a movie about some comic book superhero.  There's real pain.  There's genuine fear.  There are horrific deaths.  It's a more realistic tale that chronicles the journey of three boys granted a power they don't quite understand and how they each use these newfound abilities in different ways.  The mockumentary style humanizes the "heroes" and makes for a much more interesting film with a stronger story than those of the formulaic superhero movies we frequently get nowadays. 

My only gripe with Chronicle is the back-story.  There's not enough information on how our main trio gets their powers.  They go underground, touch something, and have superpowers.  Typically, you'll get a spider bite, a genetic mutation, or an alien ring.  We can't get a damn clue as to what's going on with these three guys.  I could certainly use a little more info there, but it didn't take away from the film for me.  

One of the best measures of whether a movie is good is how much I check the time while watching it.  If a film is good, I just sit back and enjoy it.  If it's not, I'm checking my watch or phone constantly wondering when the hell I'll get out of the theater.  I promise you that you'll lose track of time during Chronicle because it's just that captivating.  You won't glance at the time once during this superhero movie.  Have some wine coolers during this one.  Chronicle gets a 0.03% rating.