Monday, June 6, 2022

Shadow in the Cloud (2021)



Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Shadow in the Cloud (2021)
Genre: Action, Horror, War
Length:  1h 23min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Four Knights Film, Rhea Films, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, Splendid Film, Redbox Entertainment, Signature Entertainment, Vertical Entertainment, Capelight Pictures, Cinemundo, Film1, Gravel Road Distribution Group
Director: Roseanne Liang
Writers: Max Landis, Roseanne Liang
Actors: Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Beulah Koale, Taylor John Smith, Callan Mulvey, Benedict Wall, Byron Coll, Joe Witkowski
 
IMDb Blurb: A female WWII pilot traveling with top-secret documents on a B-17 Flying Fortress encounters an evil presence on board the flight.

 
Selina’s Point of View:
I was excited to see Shadow in the Cloud, then disappointed when the reviews started trickling out. I tend to go with audiences over critics, and it caused me to delay in seeing it.
 
That makes this film a very strong warning that reviews can only take you so far.
 
I think the critics are right where Shadow in the Cloud is concerned. I’m not sure why audiences despised it so much, but I liked it. It had a few of the basic issues that a lot of action/horrors have. Lack of realism, dumb (but fun) stunts, and a whole lot of camp.
 
The pitfalls may have been a bit predictable, but the movie uses them well to move along the story.

 
Based n the plot, I assumed the flick would be dreadfully long, but it’s only about 80 minutes. The editing was so on point that there was barely any down time. Even though the majority of Shadow in the Cloud is just Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Let Me In, If I Stay) alone on screen, it never got boring. There was always something to draw the eye. That’s a tough task to accomplish in something meant to be this claustrophobic.
 
I don’t normally call out editors in my reviews, but maybe I should. I think editor Tom Eagles (Jojo Rabbit, The Harder They Fall, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) really helped this flick. I don’t know what he left on the cutting room floor, but I don’t think it matters. I don’t need any further explanation for anything, and – even with my ADHD – I never lost focus. That is a tough balance to strike. Eagles was probably worth more to the film than some of the actors. I hope he made a decent amount, otherwise, he should get a raise.
 
In the end, Shadow in the Cloud was a decent film. I know some of the reviews might be scary, but I strongly urge trying it out for yourself.


Cat’s Point of View:
I had high hopes and excited anticipation for Shadow in the Cloud when it was first released. It even landed as my #2 pick on January 2021’s Top 20 list. Needless to say, the moment I was able to watch Shadow in the Cloud, I did. When it came up on our schedule for review, I was happy to watch this movie again.
 
A lot of that falls to the strong performance by Chloë Grace Moretz (Brain on Fire, Tom & Jerry, Mother/Android). She drew me in and held my attention, keeping me on the edge of my seat with the tension of her character’s plight. I was hooked and my curiosity was piqued regarding the contents of the confidential and classified package she brought on board the plane. Once the big reveal happened, I was even more invested in what was going on and it ramped up the suspense, thrills, and horror factor.

 
I enjoyed the way that Roseanne Liang (My Wedding and Other Secrets, Flat3, Friday Night Bites) tackled this particular story. The action sequences were both crazy and spectacular. It was fairly easy to suspend disbelief and just hang in with what was going on – even though at times it was a bit bananas. Though, as a sci-fi geek at heart, it was all par for the course for me. I think some of the more out-there elements of this tale were set up quite nicely. I couldn’t help getting flashback feelings from the likes of
The Twilight Zone: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (1963). (That episode is, honestly, the only one out of that whole series that I remember in great detail – it struck that much of a chord with me.)
 
Shadow in the Cloud wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but I believe I got more out of it with what actually transpired than what I had originally inferred from the trailer in 2020. In fact, I picked up on so many more nuances of this production with my 2nd viewing. I was still left wanting to know more about this story and what might have happened next.

 
I admired the feminist message underscoring this World War II tale, as well. There were actual female pilots that participated in the war, even if they were transporting planes rather than flying them into combat in most cases. It was a hard won victory as the military in general had to eventually admit that lady pilots were just as good as their male counterparts. It wasn’t implausible for a situation such as this to happen in that timeframe. Women weren’t confined to roles such as “Rosie the Riveter” during that conflict.
 
All told, Shadow in the Cloud was a great popcorn movie and I really wouldn’t mind even watching it again in the future. I absolutely don’t understand why it’s getting such mangled reviews by audiences so the best bet is to check it out for yourself and give it a chance.
 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 77%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 32%
Metascore – 66%
Metacritic User Score – 3.6/10
IMDB Score – 4.9/10
 
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
 
P.S. – There are video clips from WWII showing women involved with aviation during the credits.
 
Movie Trailer:

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