Super 8

February 26, 2013

The Goonies this isn’t. Though there is a semblance of that famed pre-adolescent (or “tween”) adventure film, Super 8 has a more transparent morale about overcoming adversity in life. this morale is masked in summer blockbuster antics. And indeed, this has the feel of appeasement to the summer movie-goer. While this is disappointing in some regards to the development of the plot, we have a sincere consistency within the entire story.


A group of boys are trying to make a film and submit it for a film festival. It involves zombies. As part of their production, they plan to film a scene by a train depot. While they are filming something horrific occurs as a train whizzes by, unleashing havoc onto the small Ohio town. The depth of the characters at this point does not develop beyond stock. And most frustratingly, the kids only seem to have self-centered dialogue written about them. This is almost seen as an attempt to emulate how boys perceive and reflect on the world. Every incident in the movie is loaded with inchoate interjections by the boys, barely passing as an actual dialogue between them.


There of course superficiality to the film, to make it easier to swallow for those who go to the movies as an escape versus as a time to meditate. The central dramatic theme running through the protagonist’s character Joe feels contrived and self-centered. Yet this is what churns the final moment in the film.


Does J.J. Abrams achieve a success at the ending? I believe he does. But the moment cannot remove the disbelief in all the elements of the film.


Grade: C+



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