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Super 8 (2011) - More Hype Than Story

Updated on March 18, 2012
Clip from Super 8
Clip from Super 8

"Super Eight" could have been noteworthy if the story involving the kids had been a tad bit more convincing. Generally, the interaction among the kids reminded me of ET or the Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) family in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (minus Terri Garr). Somehow cute doesn't mix with terror or drama, and "Super 8" didn't know which track to follow, so it tried for both; consequently, a wreck of some kind was predictable.There are some big holes in the story as well. Here are a few I noticed:

  • Are we supposed to care about an alien that abducts little girls and generally fills his appetite with human flesh -- even when there are farm animals around aplenty?
  • What were they feeding the alien when held captive?
  • How did they ever manage to make it a prisoner in the first place?
  • Why didn't the government employ the same techniques to subdue the creature a second time?
  • What was the scientist who befriended the creature (sort of) trying to do by driving his car into the oncoming train? If he merely wanted to free the alien he could have just parked the car on the tracks. If he was trying to destroy it, this avenue was not the best possible choice. Was it necessary for him to commit suicide, which miraculously failed?
  • The scene of the train cars flying off the tracks looked spectacular but in real-life physics they wouldn't cascade through the sky as depicted. Each car in a train assembly is linked together. They would have all followed a nearly parallel trajectory.
  • Why were the train cars exploding? Were they filled with nitroglycerin? Or was this just a prerequisite item on the checklist for someone's idea of an arousing action flick?
  • Why weren't the other train cars filled with special troops trained in the use of tranquillizer guns, RPGs, or spit-balls?

I'm surprised these and a laundry list of other discrepancies passed by Steven Spielberg. Did he even watch the pre-release?I did like the idea of the alien being able to assemble the puzzle-cubes into any shape he desired. That seemed genuinely alien and intellectually advanced.

  • But, what were the captors doing to the alien inside their impressive vault that turned him into such a monster? In reality wouldn't the most that scientists studying a foreign lifeform might do is take a blood sample?
  • Did the mere idea of being held captive enrage the alien to the point where he no longer had any regard for the human species?
  • What was he doing here in the first place? Did he have a mission?

For some reason I expected more from this production. I think if someone handed me the script, I could have improved it -- and I don't know anything about screen plays. File this under "another sci fi film that disregards the physical sciences and physics in order to bring more gotcha-type thrills to the screen."

Another Shot of the Kids
Another Shot of the Kids
Elle Fanning
Elle Fanning


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