Sunday, February 05, 2012

With great power

Superhero overload at the movies? Tired of storylines in which ordinary people gaining extraordinary abilities suddenly feel obliged to save the world? Reality check: chances are, if I was to somehow inexplicably gain powers beyond mortal ken, I'd probably use them to screw around and entertain myself all day long. Wearing tights and a cape is really entertaining other people at my own expense, anyway.

So when three high school buddies develop powers when exploring an unnatural phenomenon together, let's just say great power + juvenile irresponsibility = tragedy + citywide collateral damage. Throw in a video camera the kids use to record all their superpowered shenanegans and you have "Chronicle", a story of human falliability and hyper hubris.

I was a bit worried about how a 90 minute movie shot on a handheld cam would turn out. Fortunately, apart from some abrupt pans and jump cuts to suggest amateur shooting and editing, the shots remained stable. No Blair Witch syndrome here. The shots from the main handheld cam were montaged together with footage from other cameras: news and security cams, mostly, so there is a closeness and intimacy to the characters which emphasizes the 'reality' of what we're watching.

My first movie of the year, and though it anticipates a whole new crop of  men in tights movies yet to come this summer, this one reminds us that maybe the 'Superhuman Registration Act' might not be such a bad idea after all.

And if you're wondering why I'm still watching movies after my call to boycott Hollywood, I bought my tix with complementary vouchers. So there.

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