A grossly-underrated (or perhaps just unknown) movie, possibly the best comic-book film ever produced.
It’s definitely in the top 5 along with Unbreakable – the only thing from M. Night Shyamalan that holds-up over-time (but man, is it a doozy). If you make 10 movies and one of them is this, it’s absolutely ok if the other 9 suck. You’re easily batting above .500 by Hollywood standards. Your entire life is justified if you pull-off Unbreakable: we’re all lucky that you were born. But I digress…
Let’s face it, comic-book movies generally suck. Not because there weren’t a lot of talented, passionate people involved who were giving their best effort. In most cases there were too many people were involved. This sort of project usually requires a ton of capital and is based on a venerable franchise to boot, so there’s naturally going to be too many cooks in the kitchen. Consider Marvel’s “Avengers”, for example: directed by Joss Whedon (whom I’ve adored for years) and totally decent, but not what you’d call a great movie. I put a lot of the blame on the money: God knows how many committee meetings were required to decide what Captain America’s costume should look like. Just imagine how many random assholes had input regarding plot and dialogue. It’s a triumph that the thing was watchable at all.
Contrast that with what I consider to be Marvel’s crowning cinematic achievement thus far, Guardians of the Galaxy. I’d never heard of it before seeing the movie, but the trailers blew my hair back, and the thing itself was so much fun it should be illegal. It’s based on an old, shitty property from a ways back that was recently rejuvenated by a respected writer. I tried reading this source material but didn’t get too far – it still seemed pretty shitty. My point is, it wasn’t a household name, so the filmmakers weren’t under as much scrutiny. They had some room to breathe, and created something wonderful.
That said, Chronicle has the same sort of thing going for it, only more-so. Like Unbreakable, it’s not based on a comic book. And like Unbreakable, if you only watched the first 10 minutes, you wouldn’t know it was a comic-book movie at all. But it is, and it’s the best. I won’t belabor the point with a synopsis, because I’m not a reviewer and this isn’t a review – it’s just one of those things I do when I’m drunk. But Chronicle is better-written and better-executed than anything Marvel or DC has ever brought to theaters, and if you don’t watch it, it’s your loss.