Studio: Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG 13
Director: J.J. Abrams
Review Rating: 6 Film Reels
Warning! Spoilers ahead!
After accidentally catching a mysterious train crash while filming a super 8 movie, a group of friends go investigating the train crash and subsequent phenomena in their small 1979 town.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect, as far as this movie is concerned. I knew it was a Spielburg, and an Abrams, as in Lost and a whole bunch of other nifty things. So basically what we get is a cross between E.T. and Cloverfield, where the humanitarian parts of the story are all smashed together with jagged cuts of the alien and the ravening military. It’s like Super 8 couldn’t decide what it needed to be in order to bring the biggest audience; can’t have the small children run screaming from the
alien, but by that same token we can’t have the adults yawning in their seats either.
So it’s the summer of 1979 (why did we choose that year exactly?) and a few youngins who like to make movies are admiring after pretty Alice, whom Joe finally works up the nerve to ask to play a part in the movie they’re all making. Alice, whose father is a drunk who apparently accidentally killed Joe’s mother, pops her fathers car and provides transportation to the train depot, the perfect spot for their zombie film for some reason. And there, amid the admittedly adorable older attempts at movie-making, comes the train phenomenon, the crash and the wreckage and the cover up by the military. Oh and don’t forget, the lost piece of alien tech that Joe just has to pick up and take with him, and the banged-up teacher scaring
the heck out of the kids. Joe’s father the Sheriff just has to get involved as soon as the shadow military moves in and starts setting up. And the kids and the adults are all running around, trying to figure out what was on that train and what to do about it.
We don’t see the alien all that often, but when we do it’s all kinds of nifty, and even, we guess, telepathic or something. There is next to nothing about the alien itself, where it came from, what it’s doing here and how the military had it already hostage and being transported on a train; just that the alien wants so very desperately to escape. Wouldn’t you? The moments between Joe and Alice, the other kids during their movie-makings, and even the forgiveness between adults is…disappointing. The film tries so very hard to have those humanitarian moments but it would be so much easier to provide the contrast between human and alien, like District 9. For those of you curious out there, the title Super 8 refers to the type of film the kids are making inside the movie. Super 8 gets itself a disappointed rating of 6 Film Reels, and I do hope you’ve been duly warned about what to truly expect.
Reviewed by Alicia Glass