Louis Zamperini of Torrance, California; may not be a household name. After reading Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 thrilling biography of Zamperini, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption; I couldn’t help but wonder whether a movie could be made. The book, filled with tense, gut wrenching and disturbing accounts of Zamperini’s survival after his crash water landing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Danger lurked around corner for the Italian hooligan as a kid, that turned into an Olympic track star. Angelina Jolie’s big screen adaptation tried hard to replicate the horrors of an internment camp, but stymied by its PG-13 rating, forcing the film to dial down the emotional punches.
The protagonist is a tricky role to identify in the complicated, often cruel world of post-adolescence. Such is the case in Chronicle, a film that consolidates several of the oddball sub-genres that have emerged in the past few decades. The basis is the classic teen angst story; if ever that topic were to be addressed with such realistic and sobering style, I’d immediately think of the film Kids in 1995. Next is the economical ‘found-footage’ style of filmmaking that was introduced in 1999 with the Blair Witch Project. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the super hero movie, something that never seems to go out of style. 2010’s Kick-Ass, a surprisingly dark, brutal commentary, exemplifies the plight of an awkward, introverted teenager turned vigilante. Now we have Chronicle, a film that encompasses all of those ideas and pours them into a science fiction film.