Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Super 8 - how super was it?


The story of a young boy coming to terms with the grief of losing his mother, falling in love and finding his way all set to the backdrop of a monster terrorising a small town.

JJ Abrams has crafted a spectacular piece of 80's based, Speilbergian storytelling with modern day effects.  The result is a superb, well paced film with eminently likeable characters and a young hero for whom you truly root for throughout.  Films with the main protagonists being kids whilst not a kids film is often a tricky problem for filmmakers and rarely do they manage to bring it together well enough that you forget it's badly acting kids your watching but sometimes they do. Stand By Me anyone?   JJ Abrams has pulled this off and that was vital to the success of this film.

Some of the things I loved about Super 8 will potentially be areas that people will be less enthused about.  I mentioned earlier about the pacing which is true, for me the film was well paced.  For a modern monster feature it may not bang along at the rate of knots we have become accustomed to in recent years but if it had I feel that it would have lost of what made this film stand out from the ever increasing crowd.  With few exceptions we were following the story from viewpoint of the kids and as they weren't seeing everything that happened, sometimes the film took its foot off the gas and allowed us to get to know the characters.  This is very rare in modern summer blockbusters and a quality I miss.  Anyone really know much about Sam Witwicky?  And yet that character has been through 3 overly long films.  By allowing these characters to develop organically and not being forced to come up with poorly scripted dialogue to move them forward in order to maintain a high octane pace, the film becomes significantly more likable.  I felt I took this short, yet exhilarating, journey with them.

The film has action, love, tension, good vs evil, friendship, loss but most of all it has redemption and forgiveness.  With everything getting as bad as it can be people put aside things which, in the face of total destruction and the loss of loved ones, no longer matter and become human to each other.  In the wake of the riots in the UK this is a telling story arc and one which when you saw the clean up the next day is one of the most real things in the film.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend you go see it.  If you purely want big explosions and lots of killings then perhaps this isn't the creature feature for you (although it does possess plenty of both - the train crash was an excellent example) but if you fancy a big summer blockbuster with a brain told through the eyes of innocence then you won't go far wrong with this one.  I have deliberately tried to avoid too much detail about the plot as I want to be able to persuade you to go see it without spoiling any story for you.  Whilst not full of twists and clever plot points it is one to enjoy being told in front of you than by me.



  1. Well said my man! I wish I could write like you. My blog is probably going to end up a rambled pile of gobbledy gook!


  2. PS - why is the writing so tiny!?