This film has been on my must-see list ever since it came out way back in 2011, its crazy to think that 2011 is “way back” isn’t it? I mean that’s 5 years ago! But anyway, it’s been on my list for years and it was only by chance that we were round our friends last night flicking through (about 15 minutes) Netflix looking for a film to accompany our dinner. We then got to this one and it was the first, out of about 150 films, that we all agreed to watch. It was directed and produced by the mighty team of both J. J Abrams and Steven Spielberg. I am talking ladies and gentlemen, about Super 8.
I remember seeing the trailer for this and thinking it was going to be far too scary and jumpy for a wuss like me, but as talk began increasing I read that it was a combination of E.T and Cloverfield. I was interested in seeing it, but I missed it at the cinema and my attentions turned elsewhere by the time it was released on DVD. But hey, I got here eventually.
Super 8 is based in a small American town and follows a group of friends who witness a train crash whilst filming a movie. But what was being transported on the train was nothing like they could have imagined.
Surprise surprise it was an alien! Although from the trailer it was pretty obvious what it was.
Its primary cast are the kids, all of them I feel playing their characters extremely well. You’ve got the bossy one, the funny one, the geek, the girl, the quiet one etc and we were all one of those at some point, me being (I think) the funny one but possibly the geek. The 2 stand out performers being Joel Courtney as Joe and Elle Fanning as Alice. Both were brilliant and their chemistry on screen was sweet to watch.
The adults for me didn’t impress as much as the kids, all military based characters I felt were boring, wooden and showed a severe lack of emotion. Kyle Chandler was ok as the deputy/dad to Joe, as were the other children’s parents and older siblings. In fact, I think my favourite was Dr Woodward, although his time on screen was short at least I could see some actual emotion going on behind those eyes.
Now let’s get to the alien, who was captured, experimented on and wants to go home just like our good friend E.T. He steals engines and all sorts of electrical equipment as well as people, although its unsure as to why he needed to kidnap them in the first place. I did enjoy the look of the alien, he was an absolute beast and did make me jump a couple of times.
However, I was rather disappointed when it didn’t turn out to be more like E.T and the kids not befriending the alien. It would have been much more fun seeing them bonding with the alien, trying to hide it from the military and their parents, working out what it ate, the history behind it and its need for wanting to get to its home planet. Then once it’s found, go on a path of destruction, that’s true 80’s sci-fi right there.
I found the friendship between the kids is what I got most out of this film. It reminded me of my own youth and how much fun it was when all we had were bikes, secret den’s and our sense of adventure.
I couldn’t help but dislike the final third of this film, it felt very rushed and not much explanation was given. And because we had a small emotional connection with the alien, his rescue and the sudden appearance of the spaceship was poorly executed.
It’s a bit gloomy to think that my favourite part of this sci-fi film is the end credits where we get to see the gangs finished copy of their zombie film.
So my final conclusion, it was OK but I was hoping for much more interaction from the alien. It does have lots of references to some of Spielberg’s 80’s hits which I enjoyed, and also played some great songs. Would I watch it again? Probably not, I’m glad I gave it a go though and the parts of this movie that I liked, I really liked but sadly not enough for me to rave about it to other people.
I like to end on a positive note so let’s remind ourselves of the awesome teaser trailer Super 8 began with!
Thanks for reading guys.
Until next time… 🙂