Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:
“Chronicle” is a superhero film that strips the genre down to its essence, namely the exhilaration and consequences associated with extra-human powers. In doing so it manages to feel truer to Stan Lee’s dictum, “with great power comes great responsibility,” than any of Marvel’s “Spider-Man” movies. Unfortunately, it ends up where so many superhero films do: in the morass of effects-laden spectacle, asking us to be wowed yet again by the devastation of a computer-generated metropolis — an event as sure to attend a superhero film as fireworks are the fourth of July. Prior to that it comes up with some pretty nifty stuff, including a scene which restores a smidge of wonder to the notion of human flight. (Remember when the big selling point of “Superman: The Movie” was the then-novel sight of Christopher Reeve soaring through the air?) The mood of high school angst is reminiscent of De Palma’s operatic teen screamers, “Carrie” and “The Fury,” but director Josh Trank lacks the chops (as well as the cruelly voluptuous sensibility) to give formal expression to the vertigo induced by hormonal rollercoastering. The best he manages is a handheld camera set free by telekinesis. The movie’s most subtle and surprising grace note, it expresses the principal character’s need for external validation while also making a meta-comment on the potentialities of the crane shot. Aside from that, the found footage conceit struck me as being a hindrance, especially once the narrative outgrows its core trio.