“Super 8” took me back to the days of early Spielberg. At least the first half of it did. It is obviously influenced by films like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “E.T.” and even “Jurassic Park”. Now when a film draws comparisons to classics like those, I find it some what disappointing when the last act becomes a pretty standard monster movie. I am not saying it was not good, I just think it should have been more original.
That one disappointment aside, this is a well made film, which is not a sequel, or prequel or a reboot. It was written and directed by J.J. Abrams, who himself must of had his fill with franchises after directing instalments of “Mission: Impossible” and “Star Trek”. It is like he needed to prove his chops before the studio would let him off the chain to direct his own creations.
The movie opens with a group of kids who are creating a home made zombie movie. They sneak out in the middle of the night with one of the kid’s dad’s video cameras in order to finish their film. During filming they witness a horrific train crash. This sequence alone is worth the price of admission. Afterwards strange occurrences begin happening around town including the army showing up to clean up the wreckage. It would seem that something was on that train and has escaped. What it is I will leave to you to find out.
What sets this movie apart from countless other summer blockbusters is that J.J. Abrams tries to infuse real life situations in to the story. Each character is going through personal problems. A father becomes a widow which results in him never being around for his son. A teenage girl deals with a father who is losing himself to alcohol and drugs. How they are connected and the results of those connections all come together in the end.
In the end I just wished that this film did not boil down a CGI creation chasing people down, destroying property and battling the army. It is all done exceptionally well I was just expecting something more original.