New review from The Movie Snob
Super 8 (B). The new project from director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) is a mixed bag, but on the whole I enjoyed it. It’s 1979 in a small midwestern town. Six kids are making their own zombie movie with a hand-held Super 8 movie camera, and they sneak out to an abandoned train station in the middle of the night to film a scene. As they are filming, a train starts to go roaring by, then unexpectedly derails in a fiery disaster of epic proportions. For some odd reason, the military immediately moves in and takes charge of the clean-up operation, and then lots of other weird things start to happen around town — missing persons, thefts of electrical equipment, stuff like that. It feels kind of like a mash-up of The Goonies and War of the Worlds. There are some good parts: the kids are generally pretty good actors, and I enjoyed the scenes in which they are trying to make their movie. Elle Fanning (Somewhere) is a stand-out as the only girl in the band of kids; she’s a sad kid with no mother and an alcoholic father, and her character is very sweet. And there are some good action sequences, like the big train derailment scene. But it’s not a perfect movie by any means. Some of the events are just way beyond credibility, even in a sci-fi movie like this, and some things just don’t seem to fit together. The ending is kind of cheesy. And The Borg Queen thought there was too much profanity, although I didn’t really notice all that much. Although any profanity in the mouths of kids is really too much. And there are some decently scary scenes that help earn the film its PG-13 rating. Anyway, I thought it was a good popcorn flick, but nothing more.