So we’re in the Pink Taco as per usual, and Han alerts me that a couple sitting to his right are attempting to do British accents. This offends me, so I make it known that racism is not acceptable to me, specifically racism affecting English people. It turns out, the girl actually was English, and her boyfriend was trying to do a British accent. I told her not to let him get away with that racist bullshit. The other Margarita Movie Bros were quite taken with her, and her alleged beauty. I wasn’t, really. I’ve long accepted that me going out with a British person whilst living in America would be a colossal waste of a natural asset, i.e. being English. The conversation with the couple did give me the perfect opportunity to reference my frankly ASTONISHING impression of Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber as Bill Clay in Die Hard when he pretends to be American to fool Bruce Willis as John McClane. It’s such an accurate impression that so far two people who have heard it have said “wait… is that Hans Gruber in Die Hard?” after I’ve done it. A valuable talent!
The only other remarkable occurrence in the Pink Taco was that Dan got so drunk that he confusedly asked “wait a minute… how can you be a QUARTER black?” about someone. The maths of it was just too much for him at that moment. He worked it out a long few seconds later.
So we saw the trailer for Chronicle a few months ago, and we laughed, because it looked ridiculous, and like someone was ripping off Akira. As we got closer to the film’s release date, it started to look like, uh, the film might actually be good, which is something we were not ready for. The director came right out and said that he loves Akira to pieces, and this thing got 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, so we just didn’t know what to think any more. The main problem I have with it is that the title could refer to literally any film, since pretty much all films are chronicles. But nevertheless - TO BUSINESS!
WARNING. This review contains the entire plot of Chronicle, and it’s actually a pretty excellent film. So, spoilers ahoy!
So there are three kids. There’s Normal Kid, who is a totally regular American bro except he’s pretentious and tries to drop in philosophy references to seem clever to girls, which girls in this film tend not to go for. There’s Black Kid, played by Wallace from The Wire, who is super-popular and cool. Then there’s Tetsuo AKA Nerdy Kid, the one with the abusive dad and a dying mother, who is, right from the start, a bit unstable and weird. Uh-oh!
These three kids all get psychic powers by falling in a hole in the ground with a glowing rock thing in it. The method by which they get psychic powers is so utterly irrelevant to the plot that the hole gets filled in and forgotten about the next day, and there might as well be a title card flashing up saying FORGET ABOUT THE GLOWING THING, IT IS NOT IMPORTANT.
For the first time in history, we see a realistic depiction of what people would do if they had amazing superpowers - they go HEY THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME, and then use them to fuck with people. Team MM was trying to work out which of us would be the one that would cross lines and start taking our powers to a darker place, then we decided it was basically all of us. Humanity would be dominated beneath our pink-booze-soaked fist in a matter of hours, because we are all totally full of evil rage that we cannot control.
This is a “found footage” film, so there are a lot of dubious excuses for characters in the film to be filming everything. Nerdy Kid obsessively films everything because he’s weird. Normal Kid though, gets a girlfriend who just happens to film everything around her too for her blog. CONVENIENT!
Everything is going swimmingly for the psychic bros. They’re flying around, they’re messing with people, then they attempt to use their telekinetic powers to get Nerdy Kid laid at a party by putting on a sort of talent show where he does a bunch of magic tricks. This makes every girl within a five mile radius start frothing at the gash, because if there is one thing ladies love, apparently, it is magic tricks. A girl with pink hair turns up and puts Nerdy Kid on LOCKDOWN. Now, this girl did not fit in with the rest of the cast because she looked a little older. I would never cast aspersions on someone because of their age, but both Dan and Han shouted in my ear WHAT IS THAT FORTY YEAR OLD WOMAN DOING IN THIS HIGH SCHOOL FILM. Anyway, Nerdy Kid discovers that Pink Haired Old Lady is totally DTF, but then he commits a classic blunder and vomits all over her instead of putting his junk in her. To be fair, it’s a pretty easy mistake to make as all that business with the genitals can get very confusing. What? No, I’m not married.
Damn it! Nerdy Kid doesn’t take this spectacular failure particularly well, and as we all know, people with psychic powers who get angry tend to break things. Nerdy Kid flies up into the clouds and causes a thunderstorm until Black Kid flies up to talk to him. At this point, Nerdy Kid freaks out so hard that he KILLS BLACK KID.
Uh-oh. So at this point, Dan and Lou, who both happen to be black, erupted in righteous fury. As long-time readers will know, the Margarita Movie position on racism is, we are against it. Killing the black guy first is a classic racist error in a film. It was hard to pay attention to the rest of the film with Dan and Lou hitting me for being white and therefore culpable in the racist crimes of this film, but I managed. The only saving grace was that the film didn’t go all the way and have a gospel singer singing Boyz II Men at Black Kid’s funeral.
Nerdy Kid has basically turned to the Dark Side at this point, so he robs a gas station to pay for his mother’s medical supplies. Hey, America, if you had socialised fucking medicine like sensible countries, maybe this shit wouldn’t keep happening. Sadly it all goes tits-up, and the gas station explodes in the kid’s face, so hard that he wakes up in an Akira homage. He’s in hospital and he’s banged up! Stuffed toys then walk all over his bed and the music does that PLOMM PLOMM… PLOMM PLOMM thing… ok, no it doesn’t. But the Akira soundtrack is awesome and I’m listening to it right now.
Oh shit Chronicle! It’s the third act and Nerdy Kid has gone apeshit! Normal Kid goes to stop him. This means revealing to Camera Girl, his girlfriend, that he has psychic powers. She reacts fairly realistically, and doesn’t stop screaming for the rest of the film.
Chronicle actually shames every superhero film of the last 20 years by having a fight between two superhumans be actually pretty awesome. They throw each other through buildings, chuck cars at each other, and so on. The local police force occasionally get close enough to get hurled off into the distance, but strangely they keep coming back for more, like they don’t give a SHIT about what kind of psychic powers that kid has.
Eventually Normal Kid is all like, listen Nerdy Kid, I know we are bros and all, but I have to put this giant piece of statue through you because you are out of control. Nerdy Kid is all like, uggghhhh <dies>. Normal Kid flies off, because there’s probably no explanation he could make that would satisfy anyone.
EPILOGUE! Normal Kid goes to Tibet to be taught the ways of the ancient and wise monks that live there. SPOILER WARNING, NORMAL KID: those monks know how to sit in an empty room and eat rice. They are not going to be of any use controlling your crazy alien glowing rock psychic powers. If I got some psychic powers and some Tibetan monks told me to just chill out and contemplate the metaphysical concept of eternity for fifty years, I would say listen monks, if you’re so clever, how come your country is still owned by China? Then I would go somewhere sunny and use my psychic powers for prurient personal gain. BOOM!
I am the eye in the sky, looking at you, I can read The SCALE Scale!
S - Story: 9! This shit is A GOOD FILM. We weren’t ready. The experience of a lonely high school student living a pathetic loveless existence and taking out his rage on all around him is one all of Team MM can relate to, because we were nerds. Fuck you, cool people, with your fancy clothes and your chiseled features! Actually Team MM has blossomed like a group of nerdy ugly ducklings and now we are all effortlessly cool and popular. SHUT UP.
C - Comedy: 8. HAHA, the black guy died first! It’s only funny if you aren’t Dan and Lou. Their reaction was solid gold.
A - Awesomeness: 9. I have to say, psychic powers that let nerds with evil rage fly off the handle and murder a bunch of people using telekinesis is actually pretty awesome.
L - Ladies: 6. I don’t know how old Pink Hair Girl was. Honestly she was probably about 25. The English girl at the bar was ok, according to everyone that wasn’t me.
E - Et Cetera: 9. This was a good film and a top-class MM! Even now Dan is complaining in my ear over XBox Live about how racist it was, which is generally an indicator of high quality.