Super 8 (2011)

10 Jan

The young stars in Super 8 come of age in a world of fear, but also wonder.  A group of friends in suburban Ohio, 1979, are making their own film, when they accidentally manage to film a terrible train accident.  This accident is no ordinary tragedy.  The military was transporting a strange creature on that train.  The accident is followed by strange happenings all over the town, and the military executes a quick shutdown.  The protagonists continue making their film, while unraveling the mystery of the train accident.

I’ve seen Super 8 described as a “horror” or “sci-fi” film, but it’s much a coming of age story than an alien story.  Super 8 could be the next Goonies or E.T….almost.  Super 8 hits all the points on the magic of adolescence, rebellion, the feeling of possibility.  Super 8, however, lacks the humor.  It gets wrapped up in the explosions and the special effects and takes itself too seriously.  What would Goonies be without the Truffle Shuffle and gluing the statue back together? What would E.T. be without that kiss and liberating the frogs?  Super 8 has nothing like that, and suffers because of it.

Despite that flaw, it is a good movie and worth seeing. A few reviewers have swooned all over this film.  Such reactions must be due to the reviewer’s own nostalgia of the magic of the early years of filmmaking.  I don’t have that personal history, and I couldn’t relate in that way.

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