Usually I use this space to provide some sort of background on a movie, but Super 8 proved to be an extremely challenging movie to review because of the mystery at its core and my conflicting emotions about the film itself. So without further ado, here is my review...
I honestly don’t know what to say about this movie. I’ve now seen it twice and can’t form a definite opinion as to whether I like it or not. Due to these most unusual & unfortunate circumstances, I’m simply going to lay out reasons I think one might pay to see it and you can decide if those are compelling enough for you to lay your money down.
Acting: The movie’s story revolves around a group of young kids in Small Town, USA. The performances by the young actors playing these kids are wonderful. I think audiences will be surprised at how well the young actors play their parts. What impresses me about the performances is how the young actors handle playing kids acting in a movie. The movie within a movie concept sounds pretty meta and confusing, but it’s not. It was a joy watching the performances of the kids as their “real” selves in Super 8 and their “characters” acting in the movie they are filming. The young ensemble drives the film all the way to the finish line without even the slightest hiccup.
Action: This is not an action film, but the film contains two action sequences that are pretty damn spectacular. I honestly don’t know if you’ll experience many things ANYTHING more exhilarating in theaters this year than the train crash sequence. It’s flat out ridiculous. I honestly felt anxious during the scene both times I watched Super 8. Being able to extract that type of emotion from modern audiences is impressive as we’ve seen all kinds of things in movies. Well done Mr. Abrams, well done.
Bottom Line: I don’t want to classify the movie or even compare it to any other movies as I feel divulging such information could potentially ruin your experience (kind of regret hearing people’s comparisons before my first viewing). I’ll say this, if you even have a remote interest in the film, go check it out. In all honesty, I don’t have a strong opinion about Super 8 one way or the other. It’s hard to express my feelings about the film without ruining the experience for someone, but I will just mention this: I don’t feel compelled to see it a third time in theaters, but if someone wanted to go see it, I’d go watch it with them.
I have my reasons for liking and disliking like the film, but one thing I can say Super 8 has going for it is that it will help many people remember why going to the movies is such a thrill. As someone who loves going to a theater to watch a movie, I’m excited about the potential for Super 8 to rekindle America’s dwindling passion for a night out at the movies. This movie will remind many why they fell in love with movies in the first place and for that reason I think you owe it to yourself to check it out.
Verdict: Check it out. The acting is superb. There are two really good action sequences, including one that might just be worth the cost of a ticket itself. The story is pretty good and should resonate with a lot of viewers.
Super Thanks: Shout-out to the Wynnsong 16 in Auburn! I remember going to see The Phantom Menace there when the theater first opened. The facility is closing in on 15 years, but is in great shape for its age. Carmike Cinemas and the Wynnsong’s staff should be commended for keeping the ole girl looking good after all of these years (and two more lackluster Star Wars Prequels). Part of the thrill of going to the theater is experiencing the cutting edge audio and visual effects that you can’t get at home. Kudos to the Wynnsong 16 for providing me with many years of wonderful movie going experiences! I appreciate your hard work and dedication in keeping the thrill of movie magic alive and well in Auburn, AL!