Daily archives "August 15, 2011"

Super 8 ****

Running time: 111 mins  Certificate: 12A

Synopsis: In the summer of 1979, a group of young friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Soon after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth.

 

Director J.J. Abrams pays homage to one of his childhood heroes Steven Spielberg, with this coming of age monster movie that harks back to a golden time for cinema during the late 70’s and early 80’s.

 

The key influence here is Spielberg’s early classics Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T., but there is also a hint of Stand By Me especially in many of the kids’ scenes. It is set in a small suburb, features central characters that have personal issues that are causing problems within the family, there is a chase sequence with bikes and of course the creature is an alien. Even the look of the film has the auteur’s vision, with images made up of brown and yellow hue colourings.

 

Abrams has done an excellent job with the casting, especially with the kid actors some of which have never acted before onscreen. They are just so natural and emphasis the sense of childhood innocence during this time. The child characters are very stereotypical, but this harks back to early Spielberg films. There are no star names only minor ones which is great because it gives more focus to the story.

 

The story itself is extremely well written and paced with an even mixture of action and drama. Characters are throughly developed from all sides.

 

It does suffer when the big reveal is exposed in the last half hour of the film. Abrams has made a pretty awful looking monster which appears to be a left over design from Cloverfield with a little of the spider  creature blended in for good measure.

 

Even although the creature is a disappointment, the movie is captivating purely due to the children’s stories and the young actors themselves. In a Summer full of disappointments it is a relief that finally an entertaining event film has finally reached our shores.


Reviewed by Paul Logan