Have you ever had a dream that made you not want to sleep, because of the possibility of reliving it?
This was the feeling I had before tonights preview screening of J.J Abrams newest film "Super 8". See I hated his previous original film "Cloverfield", almost as much as I hate Best Buy; both only seem to serve the purpose of wasting two hours of your life and giving you motion sickness. I'm sure I was the least excited person in line to see this new movie, in a way it makes me the perfect person to review it for you and help decide if it's worth your hard earned $11.
Just a word of warning, while I will try not to include spoilers, I can't review this movie without giving away some plot; but don't worry the good stuff will all be new to you.
To put people in the seats, Super 8 sells it self as a monster/ suspense movie along the lines of the classic Jaws franchise. Thankfully, there are several good character developing layers to this movie that make it soo much more than just another monster flick. After being witness to a train hijacking, a group of kids trying to make a film to enter in their local film festival are caught in the middle of an intriguing mystery. Sounds simple enough right? It is, but from the opening credit, this movie gives you several questions to answer outside of the monster and how they all tie in together is very intelligent writing. The kids are very compelling characters, and instead of that being a slave to the monster theme, the monster angle only serves to make the other characters the focus of the movie. I love good character driven story telling and this movie was full of it.
Visually the movie did leave something to be desired. While you do see the monster clearly in this movie, you never really get that one epic feeling shot of it. In fact the full reveal of the monster left something to be desired. The train sequence was the awe inspiring sequence of the movie and it did not show the monster once.
Also don't get attached to any black characters you see in the film, they all get killed right after you meet them. You would think this would be a spoiler but trust me, the way these deaths happen, you can't be prepared for them even if I gave you the exact times. J.J Abrams apparently hates black people. That's one of the things I didn't understand. The other is why the kids listen to the fattest one instead of giving him to the monster.
Simply to sum it up, the government pumps E.T full of aids and steroids, slaps him around a bit and you have the monster from Super 8. No one hated E.T and you don't hate this monster.
Because I think Cloverfield was the biggest piece of crap ever made, I really wanted to hate this movie. I don't, I bought into this as just another popcorn flick and was treated to a very enthralling story. While I won't buy this movie and watch it over and over, it is a great one time see. That is really the movies only downfall, after the mystery is gone, there isn't much to keep you coming back to it.
I give this a 3 out of 5.
If you see one movie this weekend, make it X-men: First Class. If you see two movies this weekend see Super 8.
- David N.