Static Mass Rating: 4/5
20th Century Fox

Release date (UK / US): February 3rd, 2012
Certificate: PG 13 (US), 12A (UK)
Running time: 84 Minutes

Director: Josh Trank
Writers: Max Landis (Screenplay) Max Landis and Josh Trank (Story)

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Michael B, Jordan, Michael Kelly, Alex Russell

It’s natural to think and wish at times to be someone with special powers. You know, like those superheroes in comic books. There have been countless remakes and reboots about them, some succeeded, and some have failed terribly. And we almost lost hope and excitement in superhero films until M.Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable (2000). He introduced us to the genre again, and five years later, Christopher Nolan made it quite more interesting.

Both filmmakers in a way introduced us to superhero films in an artistic manner respectively, and then soon after the success of these films, studios commenced making them based on famous comics book heroes again. It made summertime the time of superhero films no matter how cheesy or artistic they were, yet no one came up with the idea of a superhero film in found footage style until now.


Chronicle is a film directed by Josh Trank and written by Max Landis. Its story is quite simple; three high school seniors, Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan), Matt Garetty (Alex Russell, and Steve Montgomery (Michael B. Jordan), find themselves suddenly bestowed with powers like superheroes.

The three encounter a mysterious glowing artifact first in an underground tunnel then later they find themselves able to move and control objects. Not with their hands, with their minds though. Moving an object in real life with your hand some might worry about it falling down on the floor, but wait till you see what happens when the mind begins controlling and moving objects in larger scale. But, unlike other superheroes they don’t go out saving people or fighting the crime. During the process of testing their powers the three of them become close friends, they begin impressing girls, flying around, and pulling pranks until one of them lose control.

The film may seem simple and shoddy from its previews by taking the found footage sub-genre from horror. Josh Trank’s acute act here is that he took the footage and applied it to the superhero domain, which brings us a fresh filmmaking method that comes up with an interesting story.


The film is not only about three young men playing around using their powers and destroying stuff, the script by Mr. Landis is smart, artistic, emotional, and most importantly convincing, which ardently brings us a fresh new concept about heroes without costumes and colorful masks. It begins with the emotional life of Andrew, who is being bullied at school and at home by his opprobrious father (Michael Kelly), beating him while his mother lies dying downstairs. Andrew begins documenting everything and one night, he goes down to the underground tunnel with Steve and his cousin Matt.

Once the three young men comprehend the power of their new gift, slowly everything changes. From a fun-making tone the story becomes much darker, powerful, and engaging with palatable special effects and action sequences.

The actors are compassionate and charismatic. What they go through, still with such power and ability, you root for them. Every move, object, action, and sequence in Chronicle is unique and done quite convincingly, which leaves you asking yourself “What would you do with such power and ability?” Watch out for the scene with Andrew in his room when he is chasing a spider, it will drop your jaw and leave you in shock.

I thoroughly enjoyed this intriguing plot, which will have you hooked from the beginning to its end credits, it is a B-grade film with heart, which is wholly competent at delivering an A-grade premise.

About Rohan Mohmand

Rohan Mohmand

Rohan is the lead US correspondent for Static Mass. Graduating from High School in Atlanta, Georgia in 2003, Rohan fell in love with the environment of the cinema hall and moving images on the big screen, watching Bollywood, American and Iranian films.

As an aficionado of film noir, mysteries, drama and thrillers, he enjoys the films of Alfred Hitchcock, M.Night Shyamalan, Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan. Engrossed by the originality of his favourite filmmakers it opened a door for him to take on writing scripts as well.

The reverence of directors, actors, stories, art and cinema allows him to experience films with an open mind and leads him to believe strongly in the correspondence of films with the occurrences of the real world.

Rohan writes about the work of directors on his site Masters of Cinema, and you can follow him on Twitter @nightwriter22.