Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Movie Reviewed - Super 8

Last Friday I ended up going to see Super 8 with a pretty big group of friends. I knew nothing going in, but as an example of their expectations, I asked a friend what it was about, and his response: "It's about awesome." So it's fair to say they expected a great, great movie. I had no such wild expectations, and that may be why I was the only one in the group who didn't leave the theater disappointed.

The movie was preceded by with considerable fanfare, but minimal explanation in the previews and trailers, which might be why I knew nothing going in. Because of this, however, the movie had to do a better job than most establishing its story early on, and it really didn't. While the story was interesting and very realistic, it took a while to figure out what direction the movie was going.

The other confused part of the movie was that it seemed to be unsure whether it wanted to be a thriller movie about aliens or a heart-warming movie about high schoolers. It did a decent job of both, but an exceptional job of neither. Honestly, I would've liked to have seen the movie split into two different movies with more focused styles. While neither would've been an all-time great movie, they would've both been enjoyable, and maybe more enjoyable than this original film.

But I'm being harder on the movie than my heart will let me. It may have been a little messy, but the two lead young actors in Super 8 (Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning) both did fantastic jobs, save for one scene towards the end of the movie where Courtney looked too much like a young actor, and not an actor who happened to be young. The supporting cast was solid and believable. And the effects were good, of course. J.J. Abrams isn't going to put forth anything but the best effects.

So even though my cohorts were disappointed, I found Super 8 to be an entertaining foray into science fiction. My initial thoughts after seeing the movie, and what's apparently been a common thought among moviegoers, is that the movie was an attempt to fuse E.T. with Cloverfield to create an exciting, thrilling, emotionally satisfying, all-time great movie for the whole family. And maybe that movie exists. But it's not Super 8.

The Last Word - It was a bold idea, and to make a legendary movie you have to be bold. The execution wasn't there, and while I thought it was entertaining, I don't know if I'd recommend spending $12/person to go see it.

1 comment:

Dré said...

With so little to go on from the trailers, I was amazed that your friends said it was about 'awesome'. Lol.

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