Movie Review - Super 8
|JJ Abrams on the set of "Super 8"|
My first question is why is this movie set in the late 1970s. There is no practical purpose for it. Filmmaker JJ Abrams (Mission: Impossible 3 and Star Trek) is seemingly in love with that time period.
JJ Abrams wrote the screenplay, and Abrams, like many of his generation, grew up on Spielberg's movies. Abrams at one point probably wanted to do a Spielberg movie exactly. As he was putting words to paper for Super 8, Abrams could have had images and ideas of Spielberg's movies swirling in his head and infused them into his script.
Reportedly Spielberg had a lot of input in this movie's story, but if he hadn't, this film would be like catnip. The movie does appeal to a lot of Spielberg's sensibilities or at least mimics them. It's like the perfect bait for Spielberg or any Spielberg aficionado. The reason it's set in the late 1970s or early 1980s is because that's when Spielberg was in his prime. It's when Spielberg was the age that Abrams is now, so what better way to bait Spielberg and what better way to get him and his fans all nostalgic than setting the movie in that time period again.
Abrams does add his own flairs though. The film begins with a group of children who are friends who come upon something extraordinary like The Goonies (1985) or E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982), but the movie devolves into the insane action of those children running for their lives like Cloverfield (2008). Abrams builds this thing around a movie-within-a-movie. A group of children who are aspiring filmmakers stumble upon a government conspiracy. The inciting incident is a train crash that the children witness. After that, unusual things start to happen like electrical failures, metallic objects torn apart and dogs going missing. The military invades the town and eventually an alien monster appears and attacks people.