Can young love survive the possibility of an alien invasion? That’s the premise of the movie Super 8, now on DVD, which seemed familiar but still seemed refreshing nonetheless.
Super 8 followed the unique and very creative Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) who dealt with the loss of his beloved mother in a work related accident. His father Jack (Kyle Chandler) isn’t taking her death very well and has become obsessed with his work as a Sheriff’s Deputy. He pretty avoided too much close contact with Joe because the pain was too much. Joe’s Dad blamed Louis Dainard (Ron Eldard) for missing work and wants him to have nothing to do with Louis’ daughter Alice (Elle Fanning). That’s going to be difficult because Alice and Joe are doing a movie with their mutual friends (Ryan W. Lee and Gabriel Basso to name a few). The movie is a zombie horror movie with some decent make-up and effects thanks to Joe. The kids accidentally witnessed a train crash that caused a big group of military personnel to arrive to their small town of Lillian. As the town is put into a panic, the kids work together to save their town from a mysterious creature who had a thorny history with humans. Can the kids persuade the creature to stop the madness before it’s too late?
In terms of plot, Super 8 is paying homage to Steven Spielberg’s classic sci-fi movies such as E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind to name a few. Director J.J. Abrams even paid close respect to Spielberg’s film making past by even setting the movie during the late seventies, which was at the height of the Director’s early film successes. Super 8 profiled a group of six children who balanced their innocence with the danger surrounding them getting closer. Even though the movie had a stellar monster story, it was scarier that the creature wasn’t shown until the very last half of the movie just like with Jaws. Fear of the unknown made it pretty terrifying for a PG-13 movie. The movie’s primary success was the cute relationship between Courtney and Fanning. It was the picture of innocence mixed with a growing sense of romance. Courtney’s youthful protagonist was like a modern version of Henry Thomas’ character from E.T. He was sweet, vulnerable and brave when it counted. Chandler and Eldard were given some decent material as fathers who wanted to connect with their children and were making a lot of mistakes along the way, but the movie really belonged to the kids. They are our future and it is quite bright.
Verdict: An alien thriller mixed with a youthful love story for good measure.
DVD Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: PG-13
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)