Super 8 is written and directed by J. J. Abrams, the brain behind movie and tv shows like Cloverfeild, Mission: Impossible 3, Star Trek, Alias and Lost. This guy is no stranger to the high concept film and blockbusters, and Super 8 is no exception. Originally believed to be a sequel or a prequel to Cloverfeild, and while some elements of the films are similar, I found Super 8 much more enjoyable. Another trait Abrams is famous for is his promotional campaigns, the viral marketing released before the trailer conveyed a very different movie and had me thinking, “Oh great, another Cloverfeild. Come on J.J., pull your head in.” But when a hidden ‘playable’ trailer appeared on Portal 2, I was thinking, “Hmm what an interesting way to market a film, look out Nolan (but i’m still not sure what this is about)”. Finally the trailer came out which revealed the true plot and look of the film… changed my perception of the film and boy was I interested.
Four months after Joe’s mum dies, he and his friends are working on a short zombie flick for a Super 8 film festival. While filming a scene at a train station, shit goes down… A wayward car runs into a train and after a truly epic crash scene a door flings open and something escapes one of the train carridges. The only sighting of what escaped was recorded on the Super 8 camera. The story continues as mysterious happenings start hitting the town, people going missing, dogs running away to neighbouring towns, and electrical equipment just vanishing. It’s not until the US Air Force start hiding everything from the sheriff’s department and the town that the kids who stumble on the secret try to find out more. The Air Force commence ‘Operation Walking Distance’ and evacuate the town… Only one problem, the object of Joe’s affection, Alice, goes missing, Joe and his friends go back into town to save his young love and find the secret of what was in that carridge.
The cast is prodominatley children and they do very brilliantly… I suppose maybe these kids appeal to me becuase they are filmmakers and i would wish that this story could happen to me but who knows… The stand out character was the comic relief and eventual hero, Ryan Lee, a slightly pyromanicle teenager who also has a knack for playing a zombie. The lead, Joel Courtney, and his love, Elle Fanning (Dakota’s little sister), also do a good job, and are apart of (in my opion) a proper relationship for their age. They never kiss, they take things slow, their like 13, and I think it’s good to finally see a relationship like this. Very impressed J. J.!
Ultimately, Super 8 is a great movie for the family with the execption of 1 f-word being dropped so probably an older family with kids no younger than 12. This movie I hope will cement J. J. Abrams in his rightful place as a storytelling master and a true filmmaker for the 21st century. I want to see more like this… Mr. Abrams, keep it up! It’s a new age E.T. and with the Executive Producer Steven Spielberg on board it generates more of that feeling. The Lens Flare Is Back In A Big Way!!!
Super 8: Average
Keep an eye out for the the short zombie flick during the end credits entitled ‘The Case’, it’s the competed film that the kids were working on and it’s a lot of fun.