‘Super 8’ is a fast paced, thrilling film that stars Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning and Riley Griffiths and is written and directed by the great J.J. Abrams. The film centers on a group of young kids in the summer of 1979 who are entering into a film contest by making a zombie flick. Late one night, the kids are filming a scene by the train tracks and witness an inexplicable train crash. What they observed that night will not only stay with them forever but they are unable to speak of it to anyone. Occurrences throughout the summer just keep getting stranger and the tweens are taking the investigation into their own hands. Can they discover what is happening in their small Ohio town before it’s too late?
‘Super 8’ was a great way to start off this summer’s blockbuster films. It was truly phenomenal. The film starts off with the recent death of Joe Lamb’s (Joel Courtney) mother. Devastated and shocked, he is now practically on his own because his father, Jackson Lamb, (Kyle Chandler) is the deputy sheriff that is investigating the train crash with the police department and the military. Scared, confused and alone he spends most of his time with his best friends. His best friend Charles, (Riley Griffiths) is the filmmaker who wants to create a killer zombie film for the film contest. Joe is his right hand man in the project and helps out with the assignment. After the kids witness the train wreck, life begins to change and their town begins to turn upside down.
The acting was exceptional. Joel Courtney who according to imdb.com has not done anything but ‘Super 8’ was phenomenal. His character was delightfully unique, because not only could he exude innocence and vulnerability throughout the entire film, but he also could convey strength, courage and authority for a 14 year old. He was brilliant; he mastered the dramatic elements of the film, and was capable of delivering awe-inspiring moments throughout the entire picture. Riley Griffiths, which according to imdb.com ‘Super 8’ was his first film as well, portrayed Charles, Joe’s best friend and he was great too. He was more of the comic relief for the film, but he did wonderfully in the dramatic scenes as well. Kyle Chandler, who played Joe’s father, Jackson Lamb, portrayed the tough yet scared for his kid’s life character quite well. Although his role was minor, the character he created made him stand out and be important in the story. Elle Fanning (sister to Dakota Fanning), portrayed Alice Dainard, her character was sweet and sympathetic. Her father was always getting into trouble with the police and didn’t treat Alice right. Fanning delivered a fine performance, but for Dakota Fanning’s little sister, the viewer may be searching for more. She portrayed Alice all on one note. There was maybe only one scene where the audience witnesses the deeper side of Alice, but it’s only a short scene and then she is back to acting on one level.
‘Super 8’ has been compared to the classic 1980s film ‘The Goonies’ because of its remarkable bond between friends and their desire for adventure. ‘Super 8’ will be an instant summer classic because of its thrilling, unique storyline and its beautiful tween friendship. The shots that J.J Abrams created were beautiful and the world he created in little Lillian, Ohio was superb.
‘Super 8’ is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys young teens on an adventure of a lifetime, sci-fi fantasies, and a story that will touch your heart.