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Don Fowler
3 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Quirky teenage sci-fi)

While this one is strictly aimed at the younger crowd, adults might get a kick out of the quirky humor, outlandish storyline and great special effects.

Dane DeHaan plays Andrew, son of an abusive father and sickly mother, who is bullied at high school and has but one friend, his cousin Matt (Alex Russell). Andrew films every aspect of his miserable life, so we see the story through handheld videos, which can become a bit irritating at times.

Matt's friend Steve (Michael B. Jordan) discovers a mysterious hole in the ground and asks Andrew to film it. In the hole is a cave with a glowing crystal that gives them super powers. The powers are discovered slowly. First they levitate simple objects, then levitate themselves, and are soon flying all over the place. A funny scene has Matt as the hit of the high school talent show, performing "magic tricks." He becomes popular in school and is soon using his powers indiscriminately.

Matt's two friends worry that they are abusing their powers and try to establish some rules, but he is an angry and sometimes vindictive young man who gets carried away. Things turn a bit mean and disaster falls upon one of the three, leading to an out of control finale that destroys half of the city of Seattle, including the Space Needle.

"Chronicle" has some interesting and subtle comments about bullying, child abuse, vengeance and teenage angst, but it goes out of control (which the younger folks in the audience liked). You might want to leave the movie to them.

Rated PG-13, with minor profanity and violence.

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