Super 8 has been out in other parts of the world for quite awhile now but this weekend it finally arrived on our screens.
PLOT: Joe (Joel Courtney), Charles (Riley Griffiths), Alice (Elle Fanning) and their friends are attempting to make a zombie film on a Super8 camcorder to enter in their towns annual competition. Whilst filming at an old train station they witness a spectacular train derailment and the crash site soon becomes overrun with the military. Dogs and microwaves start to go missing. The rustling of bushes and trees becomes sinister. The military destroys a town. All fathers are useless. Everyone loves their father. The alien decides to leave so there is nothing else to do but end the film. END PLOT.
The plot is very much a kids’ adventure story and I will get the comparisons to The Goonies and E.T out of the way now. The plot flows very well right up until the final scene when the alien suddenly decides it's time to go and just ups and leaves with the cast all standing around watching.
The finale of Super 8 is probably the disappointment of the year as it felt like all usable ideas had been exhausted so JJ Abrams simply yelled cut. It will be interesting to see if there is an extended or alternate ending on dvd as the ending was very abrupt.
The problem with child actors is that they can come across as very stage school which makes everything they do or say seem very fake - luckily this was not the case in Super 8 as the young cast was very strong and I found it very easy to believe that they had all been friends for years. There was a great sense of camaraderie and the way the gang bickered with one another felt real and was at times very amusing to watch.
The adult cast was made up of reasonably familiar faces and all were fine but this wasn’t the grown-ups story so their roles were very much supporting.
Super 8 fell into the trap of overusing rustling foliage and dogs barking to create suspense and although this is in no way original it was effective. The train crash was quite a spectacle to watch and the attack on the bus was also very well done. I think because the performances of the child actors were so good I found it easy to buy into all that was going on around them.
The action was surprisingly dark and although Super 8 had a 12A rating I don’t feel comfortable with taking a couple of kids to the cinema to see it as it might be slightly intense for an eight year old. Super8 can make its family premier on dvd.
I broke my own rule with Super 8 as I had previously read a very mixed bag of reviews before the film was released in the UK. I try to avoid doing this as I like to watch a film and form my own views without being swayed by others. In the end it doesn’t matter as I can't hide the fact that I absolutely loved it!
Super8 is a wonderful throwback to the films of my childhood and scores a deserved 8/10. It is by no means a perfect film but I think it has enough heart and charm to make it one of the surprises of the summer.