In Empire they had an interview with JJ Abrams saying that he thought the trailer gave away a bit too much information about Super 8. So bear that in mind whilst reading this as I’m going to try and honour the film-makers wishes.
To put simply Super 8 is a modern marvel – capturing the feel of 80s films when Spielberg was at his best, but with the larger budget/better effects that you tend to get today. The film has been crafted with an obvious love of cinema and film. I found myself really caught up in the film, taken back to the nostalgia of the 80s when Spielberg was making films like ET, the films that could be about anything yet still capture that magical feel. In a way feeling strangely timeless. Super 8 was one of those films that you come out of the cinema having seen and it feels like it’s going to become a classic in the future that will be looked back on fondly.
The film has been well cast – the child actors are the lynch pin that the film hangs upon and they all give very naturalistic good performances. At no point is one of the kids (I believe that they are all unknown actors with the exception of Elle Fanning) more annoying than their character is supposed to be. The adult cast also gives fantastic performances – especially Kyle Chandler who portrays a tortured man trying to do his duty whilst at the same time needing some space to heal.
As I mentioned above the kids never become annoying – this is a really good thing considering that the film is mainly shot from their point of view, the different events of the film being used to provide added depth to a film that the characters are trying to make (stick around over the credits for more of this – it’s worth it). It makes an engaging way to tell the story, occasionally just dropping hints at bigger events going on – though it must be said that the train crash that sets the major events of the film in motion is truly stunning. I found myself sitting there with my jaw hanging open at the devastation taking place on screen, it is a truly stunning scene and worth the price of admission alone.
I really enjoyed Super 8, it was great to see a film with the depth and heart that a lot of modern blockbusters seem to be missing. I found a care for the cast and that the story was told in an interesting way. It may re-tread old ground at times, and yes it gets cheesy at a couple of points (unless one of the vehicles runs on sentimentality…) but it treads this ground with care, respect and love – what more could you want?