Though “Super 8” is a J.J. Abrams-directed production, it’s hard to miss the influence of producer Steven Spielberg. If you’ve been keeping up on any of the buzz following the film coming out of its premiere weekend, you’ve most likely heard the movie being likened to an amalgamation of “The Goonies,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T.,” and for good reason.
The stamp of Spielberg is all over “Super 8,” cutting through even Abrams’ own proclivities such as the mystery-driven narrative (“Lost“) and, of course, the Big Monster Movie (“Cloverfield“). But it’s those very same callbacks to Spielberg in his heyday that have us loving this movie, flaws and all.
After the jump, we detail some of the strongest Spielbergian moments from “Super 8.” Be warned, spoilers lie ahead!
Total Train Wreck
The one scene that we all knew was coming in “Super 8” also happens to be one of its best: the train wreck scene. Something about the unflinching, can’t-turn-away-from-the-madness element of the sequence, filled with destruction and will-they-live terror, brought us back to the T-rex rampage scene in “Jurassic Park.” Similarly, the scene on the bus at the end as the monster attacks the military and our favorite little rascals totally brought us back to the final chance scene in “Jurassic Park” from those terrifyingly smart velociraptors.
We couldn’t help ourselves from feeling a sense of “Indiana Jones” nostalgia as we discovered the creature’s lair in “Super 8.” Just as Indy would always stumbled upon a stunning set piece in the film’s final act, our little heroes came across a similar discovery towards the end of Abrams’ latest. That sense of wonder and terror definitely feels familiar, like when we saw “E.T.’s” crash site at the end of that movie.
Riding On Bikes With Boys
There’s just something about cute boys riding bikes with that Spielberg-inspired score that earns a special place in our hearts. In “Super 8” we see Joe and his friends riding around the Ohio streets more than a few times, but in “The Goonies” and most famously in “E.T.” they were also the choice mode of transportation.
Aliens Aren’t All Bad
We saw it in “E.T.,” we saw it in “Close Encounters,” and now we’ve reached the same Spielbergian conclusion by the end of “Super 8”: those aliens, they aren’t all bad, they’re just misunderstood! And that finale of “Super 8” when the alien finally builds his ship and peaces out of planet Earth feels straight out of the finale of “Close Encounters” in our book.
The Spielberg Face
Matt Patches at UGO recently highlighted the “Spielberg face” in all its glory — that specific mixture of shock, awe, amazement and more worn on a character’s face. And there’s no doubt that the “Spielberg Face” pops up at multiple points throughout “Super 8,” from Alice’s father beholding the alien menace for the first time to the dazzling finale that leaves everyone with their jaws on the floor.
What were the strongest Spielberg influences you saw in “Super 8”? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!