Super 8 is described by Wikipedia as a “film that tells the story of a group of children who are filming their own Super 8 movie when a train derails, releasing a dangerous presence into their town”. I, on the other hand, describe Super 8 as ‘The Goonies’ meets ‘Cloverfield’, with a hint of ‘E.T’ at the conclusion. That’s right - three films used as comparisons to describe it. And there’s nothing you can do to stop me, because this is the most accurate way to describe a film I can think of.
The big problem with the film is, to put it bluntly, that it’s pointless. Utterly, utterly pointless. That said, from beginning to end, it’s engaging. It gives you mysteries and then reveals the answers as the film goes on, keeping you hooked from scene to scene, especially after the train crash occurs. But still, after seeing the end, you don’t feel satisfied. You aren’t invested in the film and it’s outcome. None of the events are disappointing, so I find myself wondering what was wrong. The story was there, the action was good….so what was it?
And then I realised what it was, and immediately felt an overwhelming sense of shame. The reason? It’s the children. The kids are the reason this film didn’t get me invested - I wasn’t invested in the main characters.
I blame the fat one.
Perhaps the reason for this is the ‘Goonies’ comparison. Before you get mad, no I love ‘The Goonies’. That film is enjoyable, fun, and has this loveable retard in it:
If you laughed at him at any time, you were laughing at someone with a disability. Suck it up, you prejudice scum
No, the problem was perhaps that they weren’t the Goonies. At least in the sense that the children could have each gotten run over, one by one, and I wouldn’t have been fussed. Sure, there were a couple of likeable characters - the main character (Joe) and the girl he falls for (Alice) are vaguely interesting. But the fact is this - while he is working on solving the mystery of what exactly is going bump in the night and driving the town’s dogs away, his friends are talking about such irrelevant shit, that you feel like unleashing your rage on a nearby viewer, perhaps with a newspaper round the back of their head, like a dog being disciplined.
I’m not overreacting either - the kids are talking, literally constantly, in the background while you struggle to hear what Joe is explaining. This makes the whole mystery of the alien’s motives that much harder to understand. And one of the children’s faces bugs you. It’s not his fault, I understand that, but he has a startlingly horse-like face. On the plus side, if he can’t get any women, he can always wonder into a nearby stable and easily fit in.
And that’s another thing - the alien. This is where the ‘Cloverfield’ comparison comes in. You don’t actually see the monster until the last part of the film - around three quarters of the way through. Even then, you struggle to see exactly what it is. But it looks ridiculous. I won’t give anything away, because the whole appeal is waiting for the thing to show it’s face. But I will say this, as with the ‘Cloverfield’ monster, it seems like if you wondered onto an ice rink, it wouldn’t be able to support itself and would fall over continuously, ridding you of your monster problem.
Overall, this film probably is worth going to see. Yes, it does feel marginally pointless, bar one part of the conclusion. But it’s still one of those films that you do feel was worth the time you gave up for it, and that’s what I think that is what a film is supposed to do. It was difficult to accept the fact that the fat kid didn’t do the ‘Truffle Shuffle’ though.
If a fat kid doesn’t do this at parties, shun him.
Rating: 7 out of 10.