Super 8, is the latest film by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek), but more importantly this film is also helmed/secretly directed by Steven Spielberg. The film takes place in the late 70s when a group of kids happen to discover an alien that has gotten loose from the government. The story focusses on how they try to discover the alien to film it, and how the secretive government agents try to recapture it. Sound familiar? Yes this movie was purposely meant to be in the style of Spielberg’s past classics (E.T. and Close Encounters).
There are many similarities to the Spielberg classics. Some of the idiosyncrasies include kids actually behaving like kids, people constantly talking over each other, a John Williams-esque soundtrack and a general sense of awe and innocence.Super 8 really does act as a fitting tribute to Spielberg’s early career. At least for the first half of the movie.
As the movie goes on, the intrigue and innocence that was well established with the kids and a ‘yet-to-be-seen’ alien, fades away as the film opens up to a conventional third act. The kids no longer act as students trying to make a home-movie, but wind up taking charge while running around trying to save their town. That being said, the kid actors in this film are great and not annoying in the least (for once). Disregarding the third act that switches gears, there are numerous little problems throughout. These mostly involve story-telling elements that don’t pay off at the end, or illogical plot choices.
Summary: About 10 minutes into the movie, I was thinking to myself how great it was, and how much I love it’s Spielberg qualities. By the time the movie ends, I was longing for the awe and intrigue of it’s first half; afterwards it just felt underwhelming. But I would still recommend this movie to most (especially if you love E.T. or Close Encounters), since it is still great filmmaking for the most part. If I was a 10-year old, I would have loved this. Super 8 is only at #690 of my 1552 movies [on flickchart.com].