super 8… ain’t!

Posted on August 16, 2011


Seen a few movies lately what with being a little restricted having a leg in a splint. some were first class [wink] others were awful such as case 39, while others were middly. super 8 was less than great but didn’t fall into the awful [too much!]. People have been raving about this movie – well who wouldn’t with Abrams and Spielberg at the helm? hmmm… that would be me then.

Super 8 is one of those rare movies that wants to surprise you, and it begins on the right foot. midway through though it begins to stumble and by the end it just goes flying flat on it’s big ugly fizzog! First off I want to say that this movie feels like a Spielberg movie, it has the same aura as The Goonies, the destructive visuals of War of the Worlds, the spook moments of Gremlins, they’re all here. Including the suburban family setting, where the protagonists are part of a broken home of some sort either through separation or death, and the most annoying thing about Spielberg movies – kids using bad language… i hate that.

I thought Abrams’ 2009 version of Star Trek was great fun and thought that MI:3 was also the best in the series thus far. I’ve only ever watched one episode of Lost and couldn’t be bothered. so i like the “Abrams effect” here – the movie’s secrets are well kept, and that is one of its main strengths.

The main thing that is great about this story though is the young actors, they are fab to watch. The dialogue between them allows us to believe they are real buddies, friends who are actually willing to help each other when the need arises. It’s incredibly well done. these guys are making a zombie movie on a super8 camera. and inadvetently capture and witness a train crash and some strange goings on. Cue ott military presence and lots of who? what? when? where?

the two main young characters are Joe [the make-up guy] and Alice [the leading lady]. Joe is mesmerised by Alice, and this little romance is the best thing about the movie, honestly. Unfortunately the scenes between these two characters and their fathers are not quite as believable and nowhere nearly as emotional as they should be.

Another ‘unfortunately’ is that the movie builds up so much suspense, that there’s no way the payoff can match it. Therein lies the rub. In the big reveal and the final acts the whole thing is just totally unsatisfying, with one of the most gob-smackingly lame climaxes ever. I won’t spoil it but deflated and dumbstruck are two words you could use to describe how i felt as the credits rolled.

My opinion – watch the first hour then leave and make up your own ending. it *has* to be better than what made it in the final cut.

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