Movie Review: Super 8 (2011)

I was on a high after last week’s X-Men: First Class so I decided to check out the much-anticipated but somewhat mysterious Super 8, written and directed by JJ Abrams (Star Trek, Cloverfield and the TV shows Lost and Fringe) and produced by Steven Spielberg (no explanation necessary).

If I could sum up the film in one word it would be ‘Wow’.  The trailers of Super 8 show relatively little compared to the spoil-all trailers we tend to get these days, and thank goodness for that.  This is really a film where you should go in with as little knowledge as possible.

So I won’t say much about the plot except that it’s about a bunch of kids making a movie in 1979.  It’s a throwback (and I believe has been referred to as a ‘homage’) to those amazing Spielberg films of the 80s, such as E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  I just loved those films when I was growing up and it’s obvious from Super 8 that Abrams did too.  In the MTV age, they just don’t make movies like this anymore, and it’s a tremendous accomplishment to even attempt to recreate the nostalgia.

Like Spielberg before him, Abrams has created a marvellous motion picture experience with a clever premise, likable, relatable characters, thrilling action, top-notch special effects, awe-inspiring, memorable images, plenty of heart — and most of all — masterful storytelling.  I was hooked from the very first image, which I thought was pure genius.

The likability of the film makes it easy to overlook its shortcomings (and granted, there are a few), but Spielberg’s films weren’t exactly perfect either.  It remains to be seen whether decades from now Super 8 will be remembered in the same vein of those classic Spielberg films.  My guess is probably no, but that doesn’t change the fact that I think it’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year.  I would recommend parents taking their kids to check it out.  It’s the type of film that made me fall in love with movies in the first place.

5 stars out of 5!

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