Dear Super 8 [Rick’s Take],
Damn, I can feel my pulse race when I sit down to you. There is so much mystery and veiled hints at
intensity, I feel like I am meeting some illicit foreign scoundrel. When we commence your hushed tale with
a bunch of kids set firmly in the seventies, it somehow seems natural and I don’t question it. It feels almost
like the classic beginning of any good Sci-Fi movie of yesteryear. I’m captivated with the charming amateur
movie making of your budding teen Spielberg’s. When the film decides to get serious it flexes its muscles
with unarguably the best, most violent, train derailment ever put to film. Think of the rail version of Alive
or Knowing plane wrecks.
By the time the kids flee the arrival of the military, you know it’s a bad deal and something on the train
survives that obviously isn’t from this neck of the solar system! As the military continues to dig deeper and
deeper into the wreck cleanup the pace of your mystery deepens and the unseen beast rampages all over the
place yet never in plain daylight. The suspense and encounters are all top notch, while the kids continue on
their merry way and unearth something known to the local biology teacher and soon to them.
I stop and take stock at this point and realize I have laughed and jerked from the shock of insane visits
from our mysterious nemesis. I also realize that this whole ride brings such familiar déjà vu settings that it
sucks you in completely with a familiar small town tone in what is truly a jet fuel driven plot with seamless
effects and transparent flow. It’s a marvel to behold I tell you! I so easily root for this ragtag bunch and
so effortlessly take in their foibles that it becomes a natural bridge to connect with an over the top beast
Without spoiling it, let me tell you a little about this alien wrecking machine. Big? Yeah, big enough for
anything. A t-rex would still top it by quite a bit, but wouldn’t even be in the same badass zip code as
this thing. Nor would the t-rex survive long. No dino or even movie monster less than 10 times its size
would have a chance. Would be like throwing a 10 year old in a cage with a velociraptor. That and the
words ‘blinding speed’ just isn’t quick enough to encompass its movement. Were into a whole new realm of
otherworldly. Truly! And it’s great. As a 4 decade long movie monster fan, a maniacal smile spreads across
my face in appreciation. Someone is again imagining all they can to raise the bar and create new legends.
As the military loses more control and eventually the kids figure out where Dr Woodward is keeping his
records, we find out what history of this is and Joel learns that Alice has been snatched. The heart of the
story starts to show its all too human nature at this point and rightfully so. It’s at this point that we see what
kind of crazy exploits this thing has been up to. When the face to face encounter comes, its strange and
bespeaks inordinate intelligence on both sides and pure audacity on Joes behalf. They don’t make em any
braver than that kid.
When the end shortly arrives its reminiscent of some other previous endings. I mean you may want to think
of this as modern version of an ET, but our species dodged a bullet with this bad boy and while some may
think thank god its gone, other would go shit, it got away and if it brings back more to raze our little mud
ball, forget about it. This thought leaves an ominous tang in my mouth and I like the appeal of that. This
story is the best not only of this year so far, but of the last few. A legend right out of the gate.
What my next logical conclusion outside this story is really an eye opener. While on the drive home I recall
that J.J. Abrams is the creator here and with a pretty evident semblance between this guy and a much bigger
beast from the Cloverfield tale, I have to wonder if there really is a connection and a if he is planning a final
installment that will deliver one of the greatest aha film moments of all time. Wouldn’t it be great, and J.J if
you see this, … ideas are spreading like wildfire and if you’re curious let me know.
A fervid fan,