Saturday, 6 August 2011

Super 8 - Review

I can remember a conversation I had with AT a year or so ago. It centred around the lack of big name directors, 'Where are the Scorseses, the Coppolas, the Spielbergs?' I'd asked.

Now we know.

Super 8 has a warmth to it, a throw back to something we used to see more of before CGI and 3D ate the heart out of many a movie.  There's no doubt that comes from Abrams, the director brings so much class to the film, every shot feels lovingly crafted, each shimmer of lens flair is a nod back to his mentor as he captures Spielberg's style.

JJ Abrams likes his monsters and Super 8 doesn't disappoint, just don't go expecting Cloverfield 2.  The movie centres around a group of kids, a blend of the family from ET and the children of the Goonies and we see the majority of the story from their view point as their town unravels following a nearby train crash.

Set in 1979, but never feeling like a nostalgia fest, Super 8 is a masterclass in delivering a movie set in the recent past without feeling like it was filmed in the here and now.

The kids are all excellent, the story beautifully crafted, the jumps make you jump and the few question marks it leaves are forgivable movie conceits, but it will face criticism.  And that, frankly, is a real pity.

Not everyone is going to like the overt Spielberg 'love in' that Super 8 is and the movie will be derided by some for that.  Whether it plagiarises (all be it with the masters consent) every one of Spielbergs sic-fi classics without making enough of a statement of its own is a question that hangs in the air.

However as we left the cinema last night my companion said something very telling, "Instant classic."  And for me she nailed it.  There aren't many movies I go and see and think, 'I'd quite like to own that on BluRay.'  There aren't many movies I go and see and think, 'I'd quite like to go again but at an IMAX.'  But that's how Super 8 left me feeling.

Abrams is a throwback as much as his film is.  Storytelling of the highest calibre with direction that's starting to show us that we have a craftsmen in our midst.  What he does next will be very telling.

Film of the year so far?

No question.
★★★★★