While I am a jaded Lost fan, crushed by the unforgivable finale, I am not a jaded J.J. Abrams movie fan. Cloverfield was entertaining, and Star Trek was awesome. When I saw the original trailer for Super 8, I had high expectations. I read more information about how Steven Spielberg was involved in the movie and that this was going to be centered around teens and Abrams memories of the years where a youth transitions for the innocence of early adolescence to the seriousness of real life. All of that sounds well and good, provided it is executed well, such as in the Spielberg written and produced “Goonies”. Super 8 begins with the loss of the main character, Joe’s, mother. You then realize based on conversations at the funeral that Joe and has dad don’t have a relationship. You realize right away how the movie is going to end. At this same funeral, you are introduced to Joe’s posse, and are immediately annoyed with them. Knowing that it was a monster movie, I quickly identified a member of the posse I wanted eaten, and eaten soon. You also realize that the director’s method of trying to show that these kids are wanting to act more grown up than their little bodies will allow is by allowing them to use profanity in a very liberal way. Nothing says I’m an adult more than having garbage come out of my mouth. Now to finish it off, you have to have all the annoying kids speak over one another so you can’t even understand what they are saying. One more part to finish off the cliché of the adolescent grieving is to have Joe sitting in the front yard by himself while everyone else is talking about him inside. I don’t know if this does or does not happen, but it always happens in movies, so that makes it clichéd in movie terms.
The rest of the movie is just as predictable and unentertaining as the opening scene. Let me sum it up, kids make a movie and film a monster escape. Military comes in and tries to cover it up. Monster wreaks havoc on town. Father and son have falling out. Father and daughter have falling out. Boy and girl have feelings for one another during the backdrop of the monster/military show down. Girl gets taken by monster. Boy tries to save girl. Military tries to kill monster. Monster tries to save self. Monster is misunderstood. Boy understands monster and saves girl. Father’s reconcile with children. Military gets beaten. Monster escapes. Now here is the only super part about Super 8. The ending, as in when the credits roll.