For my review of Super 8 check out my video review, followed by a quick summation of my thoughts on the film-- don't worry, I go very easy on spoilers.
It's time to lower your expectations for Super 8. Of course, after the month of hype and nostalgia and feverish discussion about how J.J. Abrams might be perfectly channeling the spirit of early Spielberg films like E.T. and Close Encounters, it's hard to imagine them being much higher-- you all realize this is a movie made by a human being and not the physical embodiment of your childhood, right? Super 8 is better than 90% of the blockbusters Hollywood makes, in that it is good, entertaining, sometimes emotional and often inventive, but not perfect. I wanted it to be amazing too, trust me, but it's got many of the same story issues as Abrams's Star Trek without the constant action or humor to cover it up.
Because so much of it works, though, Super 8 is still a blast to watch, that kind of well-oiled summer entertainment that both surprises you and gives you exactly what you want. The kids Abrams has cast are fantastic, especially Elle Fanning as the tomboyish love interest for our main character, and their rapport gives the movie its heart and some its best scenes. The action moments are still better-- Abrams is, as always, a pro with blending story and action, and less so when focusing entirely on character development-- but these are kids you're eager to follow through the adventure, and even when the story lets them down near the end it's still easy to root for them. The final 15 minutes of the film are some of its weakest, so it's tempting to walk of out Super 8 focused only on what didn't work, but there's also spark and wit here that set it apart from the cynical, callow stuff we usually associate with summer blockbusters.
Super 8 comes to theaters on June 8.