Monday, June 27, 2011

Super 8: An Alien Passing By Town

Super 8 poster

I have been deceived by hearsayings that the title pertains to a giant 8-legged alien and so I thought I would be watching a sci-fi movie. Yes, of course, there was the giant alien - I wasn't able to count its legs though - who robbed electric/electronic stuff and kidnapped people. (Still I don't understand where the lost dogs come in the alien's path. Enlighten me please.)

But I believe the film isn't about the alien at all. He may have just crossed over from another movie, which might be District 9.

kids filming Super 8 movieThe film is about the journey of being a teenage kid, preferably in the 80s. Since I was born in the 80s, I was able to relate to the setting and missed the time when you don't have the convenience of fast communication (cellphones and internet) therefore you really need to come over your friend's house and hang out and do whatever you want, which in this case is making a zombie film. Hence the title pertaining to filming a super 8 movie.

Super 8 kids eating at a dinerI loved the teenage characters because they were just how normal teenagers are in such circumstances (even for an alien attack I presume). There's nothing extraordinary in them which makes them believable and endearing. The combination of the ordinary kids and the humongous extraterrestrial made the story more refreshing because there has been a lot of sci-fi adventures with grown-ups as protagonists. (This makes me recall ET directed by Super 8's producer, Steven Spielberg.) It was beautiful to see a bunch of teenagers running for their lives on what seems like a battlefield. Because of the stark contrast it created, not that I'm sadistic.

There's also a lot going on with relationships regarding families, friendships, the whole community, and a budding romance to boot. My favorite scenes were both from Joe and his father – first when they had a fight and the father, being the deputy, had to go back to the 12000 people who need his help, leaving his confused son alone; and secondly, when Joe let go of his mother's necklace after he got reunited with his father, symbolizing their acceptance and forgiveness for what happened.

As a sci-fi adventure I would barely give this two stars, but as a family movie it deserves its Rotten Tomatoes' rating and I would give it a 3.5.

Watch it and enjoy reliving a lost childhood. And don't forget the zombies in the closing credits. :)

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