If you've ever lost your car at the mall, don't worry. Some snarky kids with telekinetic power probably moved it.

Or so we learn in "Chronicle," a fairly good film about three high school seniors who gain superpowers after spotting a glowing sculpture in a cave.

Never mind that the place has been roped off by authorities and it's obviously the remains of some alien encounter. The three are curious, and they quickly realize the close encounter has given them the ability to move objects, skip rocks and, ultimately, fly.

No one tells anyone else, but the skills aren't necessarily harnessed for good. One of the three - the loner (Dane DeHaan) - forces a car off the road, prompting the upright one (Alex Russell) to propose a series of rules. The other two don't bite, but Mr. Popularity (Michael B. Jordan) does see it as a way for them to win friends and influence people.

When the loner gets a boost after making like David Copperfield at a school talent show, the tides shift and "Chronicle" becomes "X-Men: Parting of the Ways."

Borrowing a page from far too many filmmakers' playbooks, director Josh Trank shoots this like a video diary. The gimmick worked in "The Blair Witch Project" and "Paranormal Activity." But here, as in "Apollo 18," it stretches the imagination - is someone always filming every move? Clearly, gaps in the narrative would have made this more believable, particularly since we learn too much about the characters' journey. We know everything, for example, about the loner's sad home life. Why? That's something Trank doesn't answer.

Still, he accomplishes some pretty neat special effects that don't require a team of experts working six months to produce.

While much attention was paid to camera angles, it wasn't lavished on acting. The loner's bad dad is laughable; the kids in high school all look like they're just as old as the ones in "Glee."

Jordan, DeHaan and Russell are fine, but when a battle of wills results, they're not given the chance to show just how good they could be. Trank goes all Michael Bay on them, denying "Chronicle" the ending it deserves. Oh, sure, there's an epilogue, but it looks like a concession that directors make just to get their stories told.


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