JJ Abrams says I Love You to Steven Spielberg and we say I miss the 80’s….Super 8!
Super 8 is a very particular film. It is something that has parts that will drive people crazy with excitement and others will just take it as a random part of the movie. JJ Abrams does make it a love letter to Spielberg and all of those classic 80’s films such as E.T., The Goonies, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind but at the same time jacks it up as only JJ can. That being said the thing that really hurts this movie is it’s “love letter” feel. Sometimes you just sit there and go, “Ok JJ we get it Spielberg rocks!” Kyle Chandler, Joel Courtney, and Elle Fanning give the best performances of the movie as Jackson Lamb, Joe Lamb, and Alice Dainard. The whole sub-plot between Chandler and Courtney who are father and son who have just lost their mother/wife is sometimes forced or maybe contrived but it still gives us an emotional pull that sometimes lacks in more recent movies and was probably the most beautiful parts of the classic movies that Abrams is trying to mimic. That’s what I take away from this movie, it hits the emotional tone perfectly. It may not have the best ending, best monster, or greatest story but the emotional pull works and brings you back to E.T. or The Goonies as you root for those kids to try and find the monster and you root for Chandler and Courtney to work their differences out between themselves as well as Chandler’s differences with Fanning’s father. The emotional is genuine and that’s what made me fall in love with this movie. It’s not going to be the best of the summer and it probably won’t get nominated for any awards but it will stick with me as one of my favorites of the year.
In conclusion, Super 8 is a nice flashback to the 80’s blockbusters and even though it may not be the most perfect of films. It makes you care and isn’t that what matters?