18 August 2011

SUPER 8 super sucks


USA, 2011
Director: J.J. Abrams


This was definitely NOT what I expected. One of 2011's most anticipated movies turned out to be a tiresome and underwhelming retro-fest, probably made for nostalgics who constantly claim that movies nowadays aren't what they used to be back in the golden days.


--  I loved the performances from the kids, especially Riley Griffiths as hobby-zombie-movie-director, Ryan Lee as hilarious firebug and the gorgeous Elle Fanning as supercool not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman girlie.

--  The soundtrack is great; lots of cool 70s tunes from ELO, Blondie and The Knack.

--  Larry Fong's camera work looks just outstanding. Lots of beautiful pictures, lots of fantastic pan shots.

--  The train explosion scene is quite amazing.


-- The movie is sooo incredibly boring and tedious, I almost fell asleep.
Apart from the explosion and 2 or 3 (quite unspectacular) alien attacks, the entire first hour is so incredibly lame, it's hardly believable. The rest of of the movie is a bit better, but not much. Thank you Mr. Abrams for writing such a lousy script!

--  They show sooo little of the alien that by the time when I finally got to see it in its entirety, I already lost interest in it.

--  Btw, the alien is actually an unoriginal-looking, unconvinving and forgettable blend of the Cloverfield monster, a giant spider and one of the creatures from "Battle LA".

--  Abrams' constant Spielberg/80s-cocksuckery was plain annoying.
I mean, come on... Super 8 is actually not more than a blatant E.T. / Close Encounters rip-off, packed with unnecessary nods and reminiscences to Spielberg stuff (Amazing Stories, War Of The Worlds and Jurassic Park come to mind) and other 80s stuff (The Goonies, Twilight Zone, Back To The Future, It, etc. etc.).

--  It was also extremely annoying that Super 8 just can't decide which genre it wants to be: kids movie, science fiction, mystery, comedy, drama, horror, comedy, love story, action...
Abrams threw everything into it, while at the same time completely ignoring the fact that it would benefit the movie if all these genre elements would fit together at least somehow!

--  Shooting a 80s retro movie + using super-modern CGI = loss of credibility.

--  Oh, I forgot to mention all the countless plot holes, illogicalities and unanswered questions.
What happened to the dogs? Why was the alien in the train? And where was the train heading to? How was it possible that the guy who caused the train wreckage survived? A magnetic pull that pulls off people with guns but not people with necklaces? What's with the Rubik-cube-thing that escaped through the wall? etc. etc.

--  The ending is quite terrible.

To cut a long story short: Super 8 super sucks.
I suggest Abrams to stick to TV productions, and Spielberg to retire. End of story.

Wiki ~ Imdb


  1. WOW, Harry, I felt your anger through your words. You are really pissed off at those two, aren't you? :)

    I enjoyed it a lot, I just hated the creature and the ending. Apart from that - excellent!

  2. oh yes, I am.
    I mean, I really hate Spielberg since Indy 4, WOTW and Terminal.
    And Abrams' work is IMO highly overrated.

    Yet, the story sounded great and the trailers all looked awesome.
    I was so pumped for this movie and I really wanted this to be one of THE highlights of 2011

  3. Man alive you didn't like the film! I thoroughly enjoyed it. For me, not seeing the creature for ages was part of the mystery of the film (less is more; tension rather than suspense). But when it did appear I just thought of General Grievous!

    I didn't think that there were many plot holes particularly, just unanswered questions as you say (the Rubik Cube was part of creatures ship was it not as seen in the archive footage?). But I agree that the guy in the car should have been killed outright! Actually, given the size of the damn train, that car shouldn't have had any effect; the train would have just ploughed straight through it and carried on down the tracks!

    But I did think it was all tremendous fun.

  4. I agree 100% with your review. Well, maybe 95%. I did find parts of it to be quite boring and actually dozed off in the theater while watching it.

  5. Ok Maynard, I don't totally dissagree with you. The first half of this film had me glued to the screen.
    The characters almost seemed REAL
    to me. What I think they should have done with the story ( and I agree about brining in a 21st centry monster into 1978 was rediculous), was had the monster been imaginary I think it would have worked better. I hated the ending, but loved the retro sutff.

    7 out of 10

  6. @Russ:
    hehe nope, I really didn't like it.
    I agree with you on the 'less is more' but not on the tension/suspense, because IMO the movie was neither tense nor suspenseful.

    Call it plot holes, unanswered questions, whatever you want - there were just too many of them in it.

  7. @Anon:
    The characters seemed real indeed - but I already knew them from 80s movies like Goonies, Stand By me, Monsterbusters etc.

    The retro stuff was nice but annoyed me after half an hour into the movie.

  8. @Aaron:
    haha, me too! By the 2nd third I was so bored, I almost fell asleep

  9. I think I praised the hell out of this back in the day. I don't know if I'd enjoy it now because I've been falling out of love with Spielberg and this really tried to ape him

    1. Abarams has always been hit-or-miss for me, while I still dig Spielberg's output.


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