J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg join forces in bringing Super 8 to the screen. This, for me, is possibly one of the coolest pairings of Producer, Director and Writer combinations in modern filming history.. I could be wrong.. I am often told I am, however Super 8 has been gaining a lot of media attention with its ‘Not Quite Enough Detail’ trailers that leaves much to the imagination.
The film tracks six kids living in Lillian, a small US Based township, and their adventures making a B-Grade Zombie film. However this is not a simple one dimensional story line. Super 8 ties in the lives of a number of key families into the story. The workaholic deputy sheriff dealing with the tragic loss of his wife. The deputy’s son who finds escape from his tragically disconnected life thru model making and film effects. A boy who lives with a very large and active family who struggles with his own self identity and see’s the chance to make films as a way to express himself. The kid who likes to blow things up. Another father who struggles with his own guilt and ability to connect with his daughter… This is deep tale and not contrived in anyway. It really is a masterpiece of story telling.
So with all these scenes set the film introduces a major tragedy in the town, a massive train derailment. I will pause here and say I’ve never seen a more brutal train derailment scene ever. The special effects, energy, sound… well just everything aligned nicely. In the midst of this tragedy are our six kids filming at the train depot without their parents knowledge. Finding themselves in the middle of a disaster, and on the end of some unwanted attention from the military, they disappear back to town sworn to remain silent about what they saw and experienced.
This is when the movie picks up its pace. Mysterious events start happening to the town and each key character and their families are drawn closer to a military secret that threatens to destroy the once peaceful town of Lillian.
This is story telling at its very best. You started to really like these kids, with all of their backgrounds and quirks.. You empathised with the struggles of adults coming to terms with their own circumstances as well as the evolving new storyline.. but most of all you were lead on a journey of discovery as to why these things were occurring..
Punctuate that with some incredible special effects and moments of genius comedic gold, this is one very very well presented movie.
There’s really not a lot more I want to say about this film without ruining the storyline and the adventure that it portrays. I loved it and wish more movies could be as well prepared and thought out as this one.
Reviewed by: Skip Parker