You know there’s that one creepy bit in Apt Pupil, a film with more than its share of disturbing symbology, when the young guy makes Ian McKellen put on the SS uniform and perform for him? And how it starts off with awkward pleading, and rapidly becomes something far more serious? Okay, well take that image, and combine it with the skin suit that Buffalo Bill is making in Silence of the Lambs, and you come close to the weird Spielberg/Abrams dynamic in Super 8.
It’s a strange affair. So, you have a bunch of kids who are all one dimensional fragments of JJ Abram’s infantile personality, plus Elle Fanning looking weird and intense. They are making a movie, just to prove how meta and intelligent everyone is, and everything is bathed in the unhealthy radioactive glow of nostalgia, except Kyle Chandler who seems to be in a completely different and deathly serious cop movie.
So far, so Stand by Me, until Boom! Train Crash! Boom! Tentacled monster eating people for no real reason!
Sorry if that spoiled the film for anyone, but take a look at Spielberg and Abrams’ back catalogues and examine your own stupidity. This is an entirely predictable outcome of the obsessions of two film making weirdos, like a Klingon dictionary is the inevitable outcome of a childhood deprived of human contact. If you’ve seen a Hollywood blockbuster any time in the last decade, you know what to expect: kid has a tragedy, develops a crush on an unattainable girl, has emotionally distant father, overcomes all these problems while running away from Big Scary CGI Crap.
So why Super 8? Because it’s the camera beloved of cinematically inclined kids and hipsters everywhere. So wear your best lens-less frames and take the fixie bike to the showing for extra points.
- Random explosions all over the goddamn place
- Some great spontaneous vomit-acting
- Kyle Chandler’s steely gaze
- Dialogue more clunky than a chariot made of rocks
- Essentially the same action sequence repeated again and again for the last hour of the movie
- Always with the bloody kids