A female WWII pilot traveling with top secret documents on a B-17 Flying Fortress encounters an evil presence on board the flight.
Release Date: 2020 | Runtime: 1hr 23min | Genre: Sci-Fi Action | Source: Purchased
Shadow in the Cloud Review
My wife and I sat down to watch Shadow in the Cloud knowing only that it stars Chloe Grace Moretz and that she is maybe a pilot in World War II. That’s it. That is also how I recommend everybody watch this movie. I am going to do my damnest to spoil almost nothing about what happens. That information is definitely out there but don’t go looking for it! You need to just put this movie on and witness where the insanity takes you.
Shadow in the Cloud does indeed star Chloe Grace Moretz and she is a flight officer during World War II named Maude (not a lot of Maudes in movies these days so kudos for that). She joins the crew of a bomber called the Fool’s Errand where she informs everyone that she has been assigned to transport top-secret documents. She is very insistent that nobody is allowed to look at them. Her sudden arrival does not go over well with the all male crew who immediately sexually harass and demean her mercilessly. Every single character, outside of Moretz, is such an over the top asshole that it becomes exhausting. They quickly isolate her inside a turret, where she spends most of the first chunk of the movie.
The first half hour of this movie is basically a one woman show. The camera almost never cuts away from Moretz inside of the turret and everyone else is only heard over the radio. I started to wonder if this was based on a play. Moretz is almost entirely responsible for keeping this section of the movie entertaining as the dialogue is not doing her any favours. If you want to hear a bunch of dickheads act like dickheads towards a woman, that’s about all you get for a while. They aren’t just pricks, they are completely over the top borderline cartoonish assholes. I wanted nothing more than for each and every one of them to shut the fuck up and maybe get sucked out of the plane. My interest was admittedly waning and then suddenly…she starts to see something outside. Perhaps there is something on the wing of the plane. And then we are off and running.
Ok I guess I can at least say that there is indeed an exterior threat to the plane and yeah ok maybe it’s of the monster variety. The movie makes it pretty clear this is likely going to happen in the opening seconds so I feel ok about sharing that. What’s great is that even once the movie plays that card, it has a whole deck of insane shit that it’s still waiting to deal out. Once you find out more information on the top secret documents, you’re either completely on board with this movie or you have shut it off and moved on.
Let me be clear – this is the kind of movie where you just have to throw your hands up and go along for the ride. Almost nothing that happens is plausible and there is never an attempt to rationally explain or justify any of it. Many people are going to have a problem with this as I’ve seen more than a few reviews call this movie stupid, and technically they’re not wrong. For me though? Oh it was the exact right amount of stupid. I described some of the events of this movie to a friend and their exact response was “wait this is a real movie that somebody made?” It sure is and we are all the better for it!
Moretz is great, playing a series of absurd situations with a straight face. It would be so easy to have her wink to the camera and acknowledge that they’re in on it and they know how ridiculous it all is. They don’t and it’s so much better for it. This is the kind of movie I live for where they are far more focused on “you know what would be rad as shit?” instead of “does this make any sense?” It’s held back by the dialogue and a lack of any engaging supporting characters, though the former is hardly a concern in the back half when people aren’t required to talk as much.
Shadow in the Cloud doesn’t give a fuck what you think about it. I summed up this movie to the rest of the Krew as having a very “you know what? Fuck you this is happening” attitude and I think that’s a great overview of it. It’s only about 75 minutes long when you take out the credits so it also rockets by with hardly a second wasted. It’s not going to be for everyone, in fact it may only just be for me, but I will continue to celebrate this weird piece of nonsense for a good long while.
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