Super 8 is one of those movies where the exciting promise of the trailer is belied by the prosaic reality of the film.
We had seen the intriguing trailer a bunch of times and so went over today to the mall brimming with high hopes.
As the old saying goes, there’s many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip.
Neither Terrific, Nor Terrible
Now, don’t get us wrong.
Super 8 is not a bad film, just that the gap between expectation and reality turned out a bit too wide.
Set in the 1970s, we see a bunch of young kids in a small town in America making a movie with a Super 8 mm film camera.
Well, isn’t that the sort of thing kids do anyway.
Until one day, during one of their late night filming exercises on a train platform they witness and capture the derailment of a long freight train on film.
The derailment causes more than a hiccup in the sleepy, little town. Soon, a large battalion of military men quickly arrive in town.
So, we know there’s something in the train, something Top Secret.
Simultaneously, strange things start to happen in the small town.
First, the dogs start disappearing. Then the microwaves. Then the power supply gets erratic. Then the parts inside the cars go missing.
Tension starts to build.
Then people start disappearing, starting with the Sheriff and ending with Alice, the only girl in the group of kids.
The three young kids who hog much of the screen time endeared themselves to us with an impressive performance.
Although, Super 8 is not really one of those terrifying films, director J.J.Abrams (also the writer) to his credit slowly builds up the tension, layer by layer.
Mind you, this is not a movie in a rush to get anywhere.
Besides the train derailment/military story, there are a couple of smaller side stories that keep playing in the background.
Super 8 is not a bad deal although a lot of the story is wildly implausible and too far-fetched.
Also, the ending didn’t go well with us given what we’d been exposed to so far about the strange happenings.
We didn’t leave the movie hall on a high, as with Midnight in Paris, but we didn’t exit on a completely disappointed note either.