Movie Review: "Super 8"

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg team up in new film

Posted: 06/09/2011 05:14 PM EDT

 

(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Summary: Six kids from a small town in 1979 Ohio are filming a  Super-8 movie. In the middle of shooting, they witness a horrific accident and are told, "do not speak of this."  Soon after, dogs, kitchen appliances and random citizens are missing. This accident is the sign of much more and the town will never be the same.

Review:  You know how folks say Lady Gaga is robbing Madonna's style, but just isn't as good? That would be the equivalent of J.J. Abrams' "bromance" with the  legendary Steven Spielberg.  Written and directed by Abrams, Super 8 teams him with his idol -- Spielberg, who is a "producer."  

 

Abrams and Spielberg might seem like a match in celluloid heaven, but this kiddy-adventure-sci-fi flick felt like a familar poltergeist with not an ounce of originality or the flair that Spielberg mastered.  Super 8 has a dose of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a hint of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and a splash of A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Visually, the film is perfect. The glam is impossible to hate. Abrams has a clear vision of what looks good on screen. Therefore, it's confusing that he would rely so much on mimicking Spielberg. 

In terms of actors, Abrams snatched up some extremely talented children who could eventually orbit into a high gear Hollywood career.

Every fault in Super 8 is due to the mundane, overworked and underwhelming storyline. Abrams weakly builds anticipation over what is happening to this small innocent town. But similar to Cloverfield, it's just another monster knocking down buildings with the evil military trying to get things in control. Luckily, the film wasn't a hand-held camera; I would've been left super nauseous.


Abrams also crams in some unengaging subplots like a pre-teen crush, a mother who was accidentally killed on the job, neighbor drama and father versus son conflict.  Even the monster has emotions—once it touches people it can feel things. One person, who was almost swallowed up, says the monster touched her and she knows it's just "hungry and scared."  

The final scene, which you truly have to see for yourself to roll your eyes at, solidifies that Super 8 is just super foolish. Flying metal, cheap sentimental tricks and a messy ending prove that the summer movie season is having a tragic start.

 

Super 8 is in theaters today. 

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