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A WWII pilot traveling with top secret documents on a B-17 Flying Fortress encounters an evil presence on board the flight.
Honestly I don’t know why I enjoyed this film. It is dumb, really really dumb. There are so many bad American accents from the New Zealand cast, the stunts are snort out loud ridiculous. But somehow, this film has a visual style and creativity that at times lift it above it’s B Movie and proud station. I would be VERY selective about who I recommend it to. I really had fun watching and shaking my head at the silliness and would absolutely watch it again
Perhaps the real problem is that, as we’ve seen with films like ‘Victor Frankenstein’, ‘American Ultra’, and ‘Bright’, Max Landis just isn’t a particularly good writer. “I write scripts the way a lot of people play ‘Angry Birds,’ he once quipped. As you can imagine, not all of those scripts need to be filmed. At the same, Roseanne Liang rises to the challenge of her one-location war movie, making a hunk of airborne junk feel downright claustrophobic and staging episodes of bonkers action with an admirable lack of restraint. ‘Shadow in the Cloud’ is an absolute mess, but it’s also a small miracle that it’s as entertaining as it is.
– Jake Watt
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I consider Chloë Grace Moretz (Greta) one of the best actresses of her generation. I would be pretty surprised if she doesn’t get at least an Oscar nomination in the next ten years. While it’s true that her choices don’t always end up being good movies, she’s rarely the one to blame when things don’t work out. In Roseanne Liang’s film, she’s undoubtedly the glue that holds everything together. Moretz perfectly handles what it’s close to being a solo movie – she’s literally stuck inside a tiny turret – demonstrating extraordinary emotional range.
For most of the runtime, the viewers are placed inside a claustrophobic place, watching the protagonist communicate through radio with the other crew members, who so happen to be extremely sexist, annoying male characters. While I do understand the intent behind this character archetype, it becomes so on the nose that it almost makes the director and her co-writer, Max Landis, the ones who seemingly never met any other type of army men. The narrative holds so many distinct ideas that go from a monster flick to a war drama, and their balance is all over the place, just like the score (Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper).
Once the mystery surrounding her package is revealed, and the action sequences start taking the front stage, the story takes a huge leap into the utterly absurd. From one of the most shockingly hilarious uses of an airplane explosion to the unbelievability of everything that happens in the third act, it isn’t easy to shut down my brain when the film until that point was going more for the grounded depiction of how it is to be an isolated woman in the Air Force than a straight-up sci-fi/monster/action flick.
Despite all that, I can’t deny its entertainment value and the exceptional lead performance.
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