Super 8 (2011)

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Directed by J.J. Abrams of Star Trek and Armageddon as well as produced in part by Steven Spielberg this film is a treat for the senses and the hearts as well. You don’t realize that it is heart touching till you are deeply into the film and can’t wait to see what happens next. With these two men working on this film you have the very best in visual effects as well as suspense with thrills.

While some parts of the film seem slow they are needed to make the story happen and the film to really pop off of the screen. If a film doesn’t let you catch your breath you don’t really get to enjoy all that is happening. With those slow spot you can truly appreciate how it builds to the suspenseful shocking climax and this film gives you many of those. Just when you think something is done and over with you are hit in the face with a spectacular display of heart wrenching or fast paced action and explosions. You just can not predict what is going to happen next, you might be able to guess but that is all you will do. Not knowing makes the action and the twists and turns all the more exciting as you watch this film.

The film starts in the summer of 1979 just after the death of Joe Lamb’s (Joel Courtney) mother Elizabeth Lamb (Caitriona Balfe) in an accident at the local steel mill, Lillian Steel. The community is taking very hard and Joe doesn’t fully understand what has happened and can’t understand why his father wont talk to him about it. Next we find all the kids back at school and him and his friends talking about making a movie for a International Super 8 film festival that is going to be going on. They want to enter a zombie film into the contest so that they can win and get some recognition. Each has their own reasons for getting into the project as each has their own talents and abilities. Cary (Ryan Lee) is a pyromaniac and loves to make explosives and then set them off just for the fun of it, he also loves playing a zombie. Charles (Riley Griffiths) wants to write and direct and it is him that is producing the film that they are making with Preston (Zach Mills) running the camera.

Joe is doing all of the model work and special effects make up for the film they are making. Alice (Elle Fanning) is along for the ride and playing the part of a detectives wife in the film. She is doing it to both get away from and get back at her father who is always drinking. Her father Louis Dainard (Ron Eldard) is seen as the reason Joe’s mother is dead. When Louis was too drunk to go to work Elizabeth took his shift and died after steel beams fell on her.

On the night that they are supposed to do a scene at the local train depot they witness a train wreck that will change their lives and the lives of the town in ways that they just don’t know. Not only is it both devastating and almost gets them killed, the train was carrying top-secret and alien materials. The reason for the wreck itself was that of one of their teachers, Dr. Woodward (Glynn Turman) drives his pickup truck onto the train tracks and straight at the train. You don’t really know why that derailed the train the way it did but train cars and debris go all over the place causing fires and explosions. Cary of course loves the explosions and just can’t get enough of it till he sees the truck and Woodward seemingly dead in the drivers seat.

As I said, this film is full of action and even tender moments that add to the film. You have new love, lost people and a military that is going amok trying to get back what it has lost in the explosion. They will do what ever it takes, even destroy an entire town in the process so that no one can take what they have found from them. They have no remorse or feelings and do not care who is hurt in the process. Add to that a bunch of kids that are good at getting stuff done and you have a military that is running around in circles and looking like fools.

For those that like suspense, you will enjoy the film. For those that love romance, you will find parts of this film touching and might even bring a tear to your eye. For those that like raw action and high octane explosions, this film does not disappoint. For those that love the thrill of a science-fiction film, this is classic sci-fi that will worm its way into you and not let go scene after scene.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★☆