The less cynical you are, the more you’ll enjoy Super 8. Probably. Simply because you’ll be able to forgive more readily what feels like a copy of a copy of earlier, better kids-eye-view science fiction, namely from Super 8‘s Executive Producer Steven Spielberg. Your kids might like it though…unless they’ve already seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind or [INSERT any Spielberg movie made before the Award Whoring Color Purple] or any of a dozen movies Super 8 feels like it’s pilfering from in writer/director J.J. Abrams diverting if ultimately disappointing follow-up to 2009’s Star Trek reboot. Perhaps the expectations were too high, as you’d expect when you combine the Alpha Dog and Beta Pup of A-list geekery from the past 35 years in Spielberg and Abrams. You get the feeling Spielberg watched Super 8 thinking to himself, “Nice Try J.J., but I did it so much better years ago.” Even if Spielberg didn’t think that, any viewer familiar with late 70s/early 80s Spielberg will. The movie lays on the nostalgia nice and syrupy thick and forgets that while you’re remembering the good times…there should be a movie that stands on its own there somewhere, not a blueprint for one. You see the archetypes and common tropes for the movies Super 8 references, but all that does is make you want to watch those all the more.
And what does it say when the near-magical end credits are the most engaging part of the movie? It says that Super 8 is barely a step up from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and do with that what you will.
Time for some SPOILER TALK! Below are SPOILERS for Super 8. Feel free to add your thoughts in the Comments section.
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