Super 8 is a super mess of epic proportions. Spielberg and Abrams team up to bring us a monster movie in the vein of early Spielbergian sci-fi, most notably E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. While I enjoyed both those films, the same cannot be said for Super 8. If anything the whole film seems like leftover, unused material from Cloverfield. I know that cinephiles get wet in the pants when they hear about two blockbuster titans teaming up (ie Spielberg and Lucas with Indiana Jones 4, which I fortunately have yet to see) but Super 8 is such a mess of a film that it’s hard to like anything about it.
The film revolves around a group of kids who curse and have parental issues, but more importantly are adventurous at heart (like The Goonies or Stand By Me). However, unlike The Goonies or Stand By Me, Super 8 is weighed down by nostalgia that is super injected into the script’s veins. We get unlikeable characters with lines like, “I don’t care that you like her. It’s that she likes you.” While this could have certainly gone somewhere, it never does and that’s the last we hear about it. Let’s also not forget the oblivious stoner, who’s here to show kids that smoking marijuana is bad for you, and will make you fall asleep in a car and miss the grand finale to whatever wacky adventure your on.
It’s a shame, because I was enjoying the film as it began, until the we see a train crash and explode for five minutes, complete with a large cargo box dropping in front of the main character. You know what the box says? Explosives. More things began to blow up at this point.
The monster looks just like its counterpart in Cloverfield, which I’m sure Abrams will eventually spin some shit saying that they’re in the same universe, like how M. Night Shyamalan said that The Happening was intended to have bad dialogue since it was an homage to sci-fi B movies of the ’50’s. The only problem is that he decided to come out with this AFTER people went and saw his movie. The monster likes to grab people and hang them upside down in its lair, where it either eats them or just leaves them hanging (I was never sure what it actually did with all these captured people). At the end of the movie the creature uses a water tower as a makeshift spacecraft, where everything that is made of metal (I think?) is attracted to it. Like microwaves, cars and the soldier’s weapons. The only problem is that, literally, a single car floats up to it, and we see one soldier trying to hold on to his weapon as it drags him towards the water tower. Luckily, every other vehicle and soldier holding a weapon seems to be unaffected by this, as well as the young pyro kid with braces. I was waiting for his teeth to come flying out of his mouth attached to his metal braces, which would have been a great ending to such a stupid character.
I found so many things wrong and irksome with this movie that I literally had my friend check his watch to see how far we were into it, only to find out that we were about an hour in. I began to cry. There is no mystique to this film, it’s just what Abrams likes to call lazy scriptwriting. I wouldn’t say that Super 8 was disappointing, since I honestly expected it to be mediocre at best, but wow, Super 8 sucks.