I'm normally the type to just move on with my life when something/someone/somewhere/sometime disappoints me. Super 8 is one of those that I cannot ignore. Its great reception has boggled my mind, I've had to ask myself multiple times if I watched the same movie as those that have given it rave reviews. To sum up the consensus, the movie was a must-see for a few of the following reasons:
- Highly nostalgiac
- Full of soul and emotion
- Gives a sincere concern for the well-being of the main characters.
To address the nostalgia, I first ask myself, why should a movie be considered good because it reminds me of other movies? Why should I take money out of my wallet and time out of my day to watch a movie that was filmed solely for the purpose of BEING another/other movies?
I'll give credit to the likeability of the main characters, they all performed their parts well. I will, however, knock the disregard of my intelligence at its lack of/shoddy development.
I knew this movie was in trouble when the over-the-top train explosion and complete derailment occurred. I've never had to suspend my disbelief to such a degree than during this scene. The kids dipped and dodged out of the way as each car went, literally, flying away from the tracks. One train car even went flying through the station they were filming at, subsequently causing an explosion. Thanks to movie magic, the camera suffered only technical damage(they were able to retrieve an unharmed film roll) and not complete annihilation. To top it all off, the truck which took a header with it survived as if in a collision with a car and the passenger inside was still alive and conscious. I PRAYED for there to be a purpose to it all and when I say purpose, I don't mean competing with Michael Bay.
Then inexplicable things start to occur due to the "monster" being released from the train cars. Typical "nostalgia" stuff, missing dogs and people, flickering lights and other electronic failure. The military is involved and is one of the usual villainous entities (as opposed to the monster, but I won't spoil it in all of its mindless glory) eventually the town is smoked out and herded onto a nearby base, which is, apparently, easy to come and go whenever one pleases. All war breaks out in the town during the night. The kids run through the neighborhood unnoticed yet entirely conspicuous. Gun and tank fire can be seen lighting up every corner, aimed at everything but anything. Why are they destroying the town when they are supposed to be looking for the monster? At the end of the day, you find one of the missing kids captured and imprisoned by the monster.
Spoiler for What is the monster? And how does it end?:
I understand the point of the movie is the characters and you're supposed to care for them during all of this. Unfortunately, they were not all that well developed. The two main characters have daddy issues that is resolved in such an underplayed and lazy manner that it is laughable; one of them clearly makes a point that he wants to film a zombie movie; one is a wimp in the face of every situation; one clearly wants to blow everything up and that's about it; one minor character makes a point that he's interested in MCs sister and likes to partake of the ganja. None of them are ever truly thrust into harm's way and left me with a feeling of their impending doom only to narrowly escape. After they all survive the train with only dust and smoke caked on their face did I realize that none of them are expendable.
I'd be happy to hear favorable opinions of the movie, preferably with examples.