A mysterious train crash that occurs in the 70’s sets the stage for the series of events that changes a small town forever. Although the “alien invasion of a small-town” theme is no stranger to the big screen, “Super 8” has an innocent teenage appeal that allows you to by-pass the fact that it reminds you of E.T from the beginning.
Immediately, the audience sympathizes with the young Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) who along with his father Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler) suffers a life-changing tragedy. Nonetheless, Joe is determined to help his friend, Charles (Riley Griffiths) complete his small budgeted film. Cary (Ryan Lee), Preston (Zach Mills), Alice (Elle Fanning) and Martin (Gabriel Basso) all play their parts in assisting Charles in his efforts which causes the crew to develop a teenage bond filled with laughter, drama, crushes on the same girl, and of course, parental defiance. All of the teenage actors do a remarkable job of effortlessly conveying their relationship on screen.
Based on the previews, the movie appears to be dull and predictable. However, it doesn’t take long to conclude that the previews don’t do the movie justice at all. The film takes a mysterious turn when the crew observes a truck drive directly on the train tracks causing a catastrophic collision that oddly attracts the attention of the United States Air Force. The event itself is so bizarre that the town’s sheriff, Jackson Lamb, is determined to make sense of the train crash and the Air Force’s intrusion on his town.
Despite his destructive path, the audience grows a weird fondness of the alien who has simply lost his way, just as in E.T. On the contrary to E.T, this alien causes a panic that leads to an uproar filled with awesome explosives, abductions, and collisions. In the midst of the chaos, Abrams manages to capture the sensible side of the creature that actually seems more frightened than anything else.
In conclusion, “Super 8” rates a 4 out of 5 and is a hot summer flick for the ages. Although there are a few curse words, this is definitely a family movie with an ending that will touch your heart. All of the special effects are exceptional and amazing. The acting is phenomenal and of course, Spielberg leaves an impressive stamp on the film.