I wasn't lying when I said I had some catch-up to do here. I feel like this movie came out about thirteen years ago.
For the most part, really, this film works. Super 8 is essentially if Steven Spielberg directed The Goonies but added some dumb fucking aliens. This isn't preachy, heavy-handed Schindler's List/Minority Report Spielberg who quite frankly sucks. We're talking fun Spielberg, for the most part. But there are the dumb fucking aliens, which gets to the heart of my issues with J.J. Abrams. He's a guy who has a lot of great ideas but has issues executing them. Exhibit A: Alias. Exhibit B: Felicity. All right, sort of joking with Felicity, but it was his. Regardless, with the exception of Star Trek, his resume isn't exactly sterling.
Unfortunately, where Abrams missteps is in the execution of showing the aliens. Much like M. Night Shyamalan's Signs, the film is cruising along, suspense is being aptly built, and then the aliens actually make an appearance and it's all shot. Some might see this complaint as being overly picky, but he simply fails to realize the potential that he had. With as poorly as the reveal of the aliens comes across, he may well have been better off leaving them off-screen entirely.
By and large, Super 8 was an entertaining summer event flick, but it wasn't without its flaws.