After watching the trailers and commercials for months and staying up
at night wondering what Super 8
was about, I want answers! What's the deal with that train? That
monster? And those plucky, troublemaking kids? Time to find out.
It's the summer of 1979 and middle schooler Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) is
navigating a rough stretch of life. His mother passed away in a
horrible accident at the local factory, and his grieving father,
Jackson (Kyle Chandler), who is busy working as the town's deputy
sheriff, wants Joe to spend 6 weeks at a baseball camp. However, little
Joe is not an athlete. He wants to help his buddy, Charles (Riley
Griffiths), finish making the zombie movie he hopes to submit to a
local student film festival.
One night, Charles and Joe sneak out at midnight to meet some of the
other kids cast in the zombie movie, and, while filming, they witness a
strange train crash. As if that weren't enough trouble for one night,
their camera accidentally captures footage of a mysterious being
escaping from the wreckage. Now, the military practically has taken
over the town, and people are disappearing.
What escaped from the train?
Can it be stopped?
What does it want?
From writer/director J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, Super
8 is like a movie geek's dream
come true as it is part Goonies,
part Close Encounters,
and even part Predator!
Sure, Super 8
is all about what that monster might be and what it wants to accomplish
(along with some fantastic creepy crawly and shocking moments when you
are waiting for it to emerge from the darkness and eat someone), but
Abrams is smart enough to throw in enough other layers to draw us in
and make us care about the young boy who just lost his mother, the
group of friends in danger and pulling together to help each other, the
father trying to parent AND serve the city as deputy sheriff, and we
even get a small fry version of the classic Romeo and Juliet tale with
the absolutely amazing Elle Fanning playing Joe's romantic interest,
ends up being a very entertaining summer diversion, but not anything
amazingly deep or groundbreaking. We have fun trying to catch glimpses
of that mysterious monster until it is fully revealed, and you'll love
the camaraderie and comedy from the kids. Abrams mostly does a great
job balancing the scary with the funny with the action, but we do get a
bit too much comedy and some lapses in logic pop up every once in a
while, which hurts the story's momentum and interrupts the movie's
Go. Have a good time, and tell me if you like the ending.
8 is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence,
language and some nudity