Super 8: A Review

Super 8 is a fun-filled and action-packed superhero summer blockbuster. After eight superscientists are exposed to experimental hyper-nano radiation, each one manifests incredible superpowers. There’s Trickle, with the power of incessant dripping, Luminesca, who can always set a room to mood lighting, The Leveler, bringing your frames to straightened justice, Standoffish, always keeping evil to one side…

Wait…I think this was a dream I had recently after watching X-Men: First Class. Let’s start again.

Super 8 is the newest Spielberg mega hit directed by our intrepid Lost creator J.J. Abrams. It follows a plucky cast of geeky kids just on the cusp of teenhood during the late seventies as they work to create a short film to enter into a competition. The movie is filled with character development, subtle but important turning points, and a blossoming innocent romance. Oh, and a giant monster that is destroying their sleepy town.

I don’t want to give out too many spoilers, so I’ll try to focus on how I felt instead. For one thing, this is not a kid’s movie in any way, I was actually quite frightened for several parts of it (the train scene alone, holy crap). For another, it’s great fun hearing the under fifteen crowd dropping swears all over the place, but you can still see them getting used to this indiscretion which makes it more sweet than jarring. Also, there was also JJ’s trademark Excessive Use of Lens Flare all over the place, but I could mostly ignore it because the story is engaging, and genuinely interesting, especially with the plot being primarily character driven (not to mention it’s one of the few “original” movies coming out this summer).

Super 8, could also known as Stand By Me: Monster Edition. The Goonies In Space. E.T. (short for Eating Terrestrials). The movie felt like a return to “old Spielberg” and even seems to have been filmed using older film (though I’m sure it’s really just a Photoshop filter.) The dialogue was also very easy flowing and similar to how people speak in real life (talking too fast, not clearly, or over one another) which one would think would be annoying to listen to, but I found it quite comforting and very funny at times. But the movie is dark, think Stephen King dark, and I actually had flashbacks to several SK stories while I watched, which is a big thumbs up from me as a huge SK fan.

All in all, I would say this is a solid sci-fi flick that will surely entertain and bring us twenty somethings back to a time of walkmans, tape decks, and shag rug. My only real gripe is the end was a bit too “feel good” for my tastes, but that shouldn’t be unexpected for a Spielberg film. I would also very much recommend seeing it in the theaters because the special effects are nothing to sniff at and if there was ever a movie that you needed surround sound for, it’d be this one.

2 Responses to “Super 8: A Review”

  1. I was in the middle of writing a review for this when I saw that yours had been posted. I even referenced the old ‘kids on a mission’ movies of the 80s, saying that I thought it missed that certain charm. I can be honest and say that I was not as engaged in this film as you were, so my review was going to be more mixed than positive. However, you brought up a great point that I missed, and that is an original sci-fi film, which is something I should be more appreciative than most of the slop that gets passed for ‘sci-fi’ these days. If given the choice, I’d see Super 8 over Transformers 3 any day of the week.

    So, what’s the deal with Trickle and the gang?

    • I actually think Super 8 would have been a pretty amazing movie (and not just a good one) if it hadn’t even had the monster. But then, it wouldn’t be a sci-fi movie, sooooo.

      Trickle etc. are because I originally misunderstood the title of the movie as being about a superhero team :p

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