Review: Super 8

June 12, 2011

Initially fate tried to stop me from seeing Super 8 by distorting my senses and leading me into X-Men: First Class, then the following two days life intervened and I wasn’t able to see Super 8 until last night, the 12 of June, at 10:40pm. Finally, I am able to write and publish a review… But what I don’t understand is why fate tried so hard to prevent me from seeing Super 8, when it didn’t raise a finger to me seeing Red Riding Hood.

Super 8, by my friends on Twitter, have been described as a cross between E.T. and Cloverfield, which I think is a solid description. After a train is derailed in Lillian Heights (a fictional town in Ohio, yet filmed in West Virginia), numerous citizens disappear, presumably obliterated. As members of the U.S. Airforce patrol the town, nothing but chaos ensues. Per the usual, it’s up to a group of kids who know what is destroying the town, to save the day.

The entire cast is great, surprisingly the kids, most I haven’t heard of. The little protagonists play amateur Horror filmmakers, and they consist of Joel Courtney as Joe (Makeup/Special effects), and Riley Griffiths as his best friend Charles (Director). Gabrielle Basso plays Martin (Actor), Zach Mills as Preston (Actor), and Elle Fanning is Alice (Actress), the love interest opposite Joel Courtney. Though my fave kid is Ryan Lee, who plays Cary, the group’s pyro that sets everything on fire. The two most notable adults are Kyle Chandler who stars as Joel Courtney’s father & town deputy, and Ron Eldard who plays Elle Fanning’s father & a drunk jerk.

(Wow, that was a mouthful. Be aware, I might change that paragraph if I can think of something better.)

For the most part, the story is great. As mentioned above, the performances are. All great, and to be honest the actors make Super 8 what it is, the story is supplemental, as good as it is. The ending, however, is exceptionally cliche and doesn’t live up to the precedent set in the rest of the flick. However, the song at the end of the end credits is My Sharona by The Knack, which more than makes up for the ending. :-)

While the young cast members play… young cast members, Super 8 is written & directed by J.J. Abrams, and produced by Steven Spielberg. Considering J.J. Abrams produced Cloverfield and Steven Spielberg directed E.T., is it really any surprise that Super 8 is a cross between those two? On paper it might not seem like the best idea, but it works, despite the ending of course.

The last alien flick to hit theatres was Skyline 2 Battle: LA which I thought was okay, however Super 8 blows it out of the water and is better than Battle: LA, in every conceivable way. The alien in Super 8 kicks ass, its space ship kicks ass, the story kicks ass, and every actor, young & old, bitch slaps every performance in Battle: LA. Summer flicks are supposed to be inherently bad, but so far the Winter & Spring movie seasons of 2011 have paled in comparison to just the first month of the Summer movie season. It’s almost like something out of the Twilight Zone, this role reversal.

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