REVIEW: Super 8

Curious questions were asked about what the outcome and the features within Super 8 were going to be after a unique and eerie theatrical trailer. It looked like it could deliver something that is perhaps ridiculously-ingenious so to speak, like a film similar to District 9. So for this reason, it became one of the most anticipating films of 2011! However, despite the exceedingly high expectations, it turned out something that was still at least enjoyable to watch, but quite frankly, it was a disappointment and there are reasons for this.

Lets face it, how many times have we seen films featuring a specific neighbourhood that becomes invaded by mysterious extra terrestrial creatures? It just didn’t express anything different that we hadn’t seen before in any film, so it felt a lot like a recent attempt at War Of The Worlds. The aliens just had no personality at all and it was just this blood-thirsty monster that causes chaos and mayhem with no background story of how and why it ended up there. However, despite that Super 8 does have its flaws, it does have its strong points. The most obvious one: the effects. It was beautifully filmed that did feature interesting action scenes that weren’t explosion after explosion, like those atrociousTransformers films.

Super 8 features an ensemble cast of young actors and actresses that have some resemblances with the kids, now grown adults from 80s adventure-comedy film The Goonies. Joel Courtney takes the leading role as protagonist Joe Lamb. The strongest key point about the character of Joe is that he resembles the innocence, soft-hearted nature and perhaps the physical appearance of Elliott in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Elle Fanning, the younger sister of famous child actor Dakota Fanning rises to fame as Alice. After Dakota’s appearance in a similar film to this: War Of The Worlds, Elle makes her mark and gives a great performance in another Spielberg-involved film.

The rest of the cast included other young actors who gave good performances in their respective roles. Riley Griffiths was brilliant as Charles Kaznyk! Charles is the young man who seeks to make a low-budget zombie movie on Super 8 film. He is at times arrogant and quite bossy especially when wanting to make his movie. Seeing young kids making a low-budget movie bought back similarities to Son Of Rambow, although it was a different style of movie. Having said that, it could have turned out something really special if it was a film just about kids making a movie instead of mixing it with War Of The Worlds-like terrorism from extra-terrestrials. It’s like the film began with one story and then became totally different and the beginning story involving the movie felt abandoned. Despite that, the young actors still gave solid performances and really hope to see them all in other films in the future.

After being one of the directors, co-creaters, producers, writers and executive producers of a few episodes from TV show Lost and then going on to directing the surprising breakthrough Star Trek, he goes on to direct something that is his kind of filmmaking style. During the production process of Super 8, there were speculations that this was in fact either a prequel or sequel to Cloverfield, a film that Abrams himself produced. However, Super 8 tried to be a film on its own, but it really wasn’t by copying the ideas from other films and mixing them together. Having said that the dialogue idea wasn’t all that great, it was still magnificently filmed. You could very easily identify that Steven Spielberg was involved in this one due to the background similarities of his three science fiction films E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and, of course War Of The WorldsSuper 8 lacked the warmth and the drama between the characters, the courage and perhaps even the intense suspense.

Overall, Super 8 isn’t a bad film at all, it was just a tad bit of a disappointment because the trailer looked promising, so therefore I was expecting more from it. It is still an enjoyable film to watch. It was trying to re-live the brilliance and pure beauty of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and the intense thrills of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, but that simply cannot happen to them. Both J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg can do better, and hope that the films that they do in the future will make up for this one. Abrams and Super 8 will battle with Duncan Jones and Source Code for most intense and exhilarating film of 2011, but I’d rather stick with the latter.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 16/05/2012.

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