‘Super 8’ Review

J.J. Abrams returns to the big screen with ‘Super 8’, a movie that he wrote and directed. The movie was also produced by Steven Spielberg, and I’m pretty sure he had a lot more to do with it than that. The film just has that Spielberg feel to it, although is still very much still an Abrams film at the same time. The movie stars newcomer Joel Courtney alongside Elle Fanning and Kyle Chandler. The film follows a group of teenagers in the fictional town Lillian, Ohio, as they are filming a movie on a Super 8mm film camera, when they see a train wreck that they suspect wasn’t an accident. After which the town begins to be terrorized by what was on the train and is taken over by U.S. Air force troops.

The story here was very disappointing to say the least. It was almost the exact same story from ‘Cloverfield’. The biggest difference here, well besides the elimination of the first person camera, is that this movie does feature the all knowing scientist character that ‘Cloverfield’ was missing. Don’t worry though, Abrams doesn’t stop at just ripping off his own movie, he also rips off ‘District 9’ by giving his alien the exact same motive and problem with humans that the ones from ‘District 9’ had, only he made his bigger. I guess bigger is better in Abrams eyes. Most of the movie just feels like a waste of time, it mostly revolves around these kids trying to make a movie about zombies while all this is going on and it just makes things kind of dull. I would however like to point out that the acting in this movie, and I’m referring to the kids here, was really good. Their characters weren’t really developed all that much, you  do learn tidbits about a couple of them here and there but it wasn’t really enough. Even still though, they were quite entertaining.

On the effects side of things, this movie is a pretty big success. Although there isn’t really much action, there are only two or three action scenes in the movie, they all go above and beyond. The train wreck scene and the final scene of the movie both make this movie worth checking out. The effects on the alien were also really good but that was kind of over shadowed by the fact that it’s just a generic big alien, nothing special at all. In fact it looked almost just like the Acklay, from ‘Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones’, if you gave him an extra pair of arms and made him a bit bulkier.

Overall this film wasn’t all that great. It suffered from an extremely dull story, mixed with some very good acting, that had almost no point and just ended up being a generic monster movie with a sci-fi twist. The effects and action scenes were really great and definitely make this worth checking out as rental, just don’t spend too much money on it and keep your expectations low.

7 thoughts on “‘Super 8’ Review”

  1. I admit that I too was unimpressed by the creature. Still, I actually did enjoy this film. It seems that Super 8’s main strength lies in its ability to build intrigue through mystery. Once the mystery is gone, there’s not too much there. It’s about the journey, not the destination.

  2. Just a little FYI, Cloverfield wasn’t J.J. Abrams’ first big screen feature. He produced it and it was directed by Matt Reeves, who directed “Let Me In” the Let the Right One In remake.

  3. Yea you’re right Simpson, ‘Cloverfield’ wasn’t actually his but it may as well have been, he’s the one gets the credit for it and the one who gets dogged for it lol. Also I stand corrected on the fact that he was already directing, didn’t realize he did MI:3.

  4. Indeed, he does get all the heat for it. But Abrams has a special ability at keeping something SO talked about SUCH a secret. Its his natural ability, and regardless of if you like his style, its something to be respected.

  5. Throughout the movie I saw more of a Steven Spielberg vibe to the movie. The characters are very similar to the characters in “The Goonies.” And the ending just screamed Spielberg with the spaceship flying into the sky. That type of ending is very overused. I thought the train crash was way too long, and felt like Abrams was trying too hard to try to win a movie award. Although I loved the acting, I agree that there was a lack of character development, except there was some from the Joel Courtney’s character and his father too. I also loved the comedic realifs throughout the movie as well.

  6. @Simpson – Yea truly do love how all the details about his movies are kept a secret until the movie is released. For me at least it makes the movie a lot better going into it knowing nothing.

    @angel – I’ve heard a few people say that the characters reminded them of ‘The Goonies’ as well. I can see the comparison, it just didn’t occur to me. As for the train scene, it was awesome but definitely did feel stretched. Every time it seemed over, another train piece would come flying down or an explosion would happen, it was kind of funny.

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