SHADOW IN THE CLOUD (2021)

Directed By: Roseanne Liang
Written By: Max Landis & Roseanne Liang 
Cinematography: Kit Fraser
Editor: Tom Eagles 

Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Beulah Koale, Taylor John Smith, Callum Mulvey, Benedict Wall

On a stormy night during World War II, a female pilot with top-secret cargo talks her way on board a bomber plane about to take-off. The crass all-male crew reluctantly agrees, but their suspicions about her identity and the mysterious cargo quickly grow. Just then a shadow appears in the clouds – was it the incoming Japanese fleet? Or caused by some other sinister stowaway?


This film had a very notorious beginning as one of disgraced Screenwriter Max Landis’s big-budget scripts being turned into a production. 

Though after much rewriting supposedly the film was eventually made. Though one wonders if the script was so pro-female before it was rewritten or maybe if he did write it that way as a kind of public apology against the charges he has been accused of. 

It also might also be an homage to the TWILIGHT ZONE movie which his father was infamously sort of even though he didn’t direct that segment of the film and also kind of a remake of the AMAZING STORIES episode THE MISSION directed by Steven Spielberg.

Either way, the film takes the premise of the classic Twilight zone episode terror at 20,000 feet and changes the situation to that of a fighter plane running a mission with an extra female passenger In the gunner galley who sees the gremlin at first. While the others think she has gone crazy, but also during this, they are being attacked by enemy planes and she is trying to keep a top-secret cargo mission from others.

So the film Is loaded and at first, it seems like this going to be a claustrophobic thriller mainly taking place with her in the gunner pit but then eventually it opens up to the whole plane. So that while it is still contained there is more to work with. 

The film stays entertaining though some of the twists are totally unbelievable and reminds you how much a production this is. Which also helps you to accept the more far fetched elements.

Especially one action Sequence where Chloe Grace Moretz is hanging out of the plane trying to retrieve her package and fight off the gremlin. This then adds the intrigue of a fighter place attacking At the same time and an explosion that has to be seen to be believed. As it is an impressive action sequence but totally laughable thinking about the physics of it and how it is played. 

The film offers a little bit of everything there is intrigue, action, war sequences, thriller a little bit of drama, and even a showcase of sexism from most of the males involved in this mission with her and how in the end she more than proves herself capable and above them. Being the bravest, strongest and most resourceful.

In the end, though they help at times as resources this is really Moretz’s action film to take hold of. As she is the hero and they are more the damsels in distress who help out a little.

It isn’t as pumped up as a similar world war II film OVERLORD but It’s a fun action film that uses history and injects something supernatural. So that they have to deal with these otherworldly elements with whatever resources they have that aren’t that advanced.

If anything this movie is an entertaining b-movie and a perfectly fun time waster. 

Grade: C

NATIVE SON (2019)

nativeson1

Directed By: Rashid Johnson
Written By: Suzan Lori-Parks
Based on the Novel By: Richard Wright
Cinematography: Matthew Libatique
Editor: Brad Turner 

Cast: Ashton Sanders, Kiki Layne, Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson, Bill Camp, Elizabeth Marvel, David Alan Grier, Sanaa Lathan, Lamar Johnson 


A young African-American living in Chicago enters into a seductive new world of money and power after he is hired as a chauffeur for an affluent businessman.
Continue reading “NATIVE SON (2019)”