DVD: Super 8 (12)
Friday 09 December 2011
"It's on the news, that means it's real," maintains Charlie (Riley Griffiths) to his best pal, Joseph (Joel Courtney).
The teenage boys, along with their lead actress, Elle Fanning's Alice, have just witnessed a truck collide into a train while filming their latest zombie movie. This spectacular crash – the best action scene in JJ Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg's old fashioned action/sci-fi hybrid set in 1979 – delivers chaos to the small town of Lillian.
Joseph, Super 8's inquisitive hero, lives with his cop dad (Kyle Chandler), who is grieving his wife's recent death. Jo, meanwhile, plunges himself into making zombie flicks (pretty good ones) with his fast-talking, nerdy pals (they're a blend of The Goonies and the boys in Stand by Me) and is intoxicated by Alice's acting – Fanning delivers the best audition scene since Naomi Watts's in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.
In fact, the touching relationship between Jo and Alice is the best thing about this slightly disappointing nostalgia piece. Super 8 should work better than this – the pace is, refreshingly, not frenetic, and the baddies, in this case the US Army, are suitably ruthless. But it's missing Spielberg's deeply human touch.
There's a tense (and soppy) ending, of course, but don't miss out on the teens' wonderful zombie flick during the credit sequence, which is arguably more enjoyable than the film that precedes it.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food