Super 8 (12)
Dir. J.J. Abrams
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
How about a major homage to blockbuster science fiction films of Steven Spielberg which, proves that when imitating greatness, a little of the magic can rub off on a new generation.
With Super 8, J.J. ‘Star Trek’ Abrams takes us back to the idyllic summer of 1979 where a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a fun amateur super 8 movie.
The thing is – the crash was not an accident and something very nasty has escaped from the wreckage. Cue unusual disappearances and inexplicable events beginning to take place across the town, as the local populace get involved in some serious close encounters…
The cool cast of kids taking the lead - featuring the star crossed crush of average teen Joe (newcomer Joel Courtney) son of the local deputy sheriff and Alice (the beguilingly talented Elle ‘Somewhere’ Fanning) daughter of the local bad boy, the stage is set for some heart warming sci-fi thrills. Joe and Alice's chaste romance feels natural and evokes the feel captured by last year’s Let Me In. These are kids who it is fun just to be around.
"teen romance from different sides of the tracks"
Think Goonies mixed with Close Encounters of the Third Kind and, throw in some great references to films from across the genres and you’ve got the winning recipe for a new breed of classic.
With Spielberg producing it is no surprise to have the heart strings tugged. The set up of young Joe, struggling to come to terms with being left in the custody of his busy dad Jack (Kyle Chandler) after his mother dies, provides the emotional backdrop to the alien monster-em-up action.
The tension is expertly built up at first when the creature is kept mostly unseen – one particular scene of a gas station being attacked shot from behind a big rotating advertisement is a work of cinematic genius.
The alien is revealed before the end and whilst it is nicely realised with good CGi work, it doesn’t quite stand out as a creature that will be remembered as a cinematic icon.
Super 8 is great, not too nasty so that it can be enjoyed by a wide audience and packing plenty of fun alongside the tension and action scenes.
Oh and don’t leave before the credits either as you get to witness the whole of the kids’ super 8 zombie movie which will send you home with a big smile on your face.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4.5 - Strong future classic vibe here)...
Awesomeness öööö – plenty of very cool stuff on offer
Laughs ööö – some real joy inspiring moments
Horror öö – a few grim bits but nothing too bad
Babes ööö – Fanning is likely to turn out ok
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - don't presume evil (even in aliens who eat you)
"Elle Fanning is in fashion - in Marie Claire last month"