Shadow in the Cloud

8 out of 10


I did not know what was coming and even now that I have finished Shadow in the Cloud, I am not sure what happened – which would be bad, except that I was completely engrossed by this movie. It will be difficult for me to write a synopsis for this movie because the movie has so many twists in it – and because it changes genres a few times, which was awesome.

Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz) boards a B-17 Flying Fortress named Fool’s Errand which has been tasked with flying supplies from Auckland, New Zealand to Samoa. Garrett has a broken arm and is carrying a case that, under strict orders from the base commander, cannot be opened for any reason. The crew of the Fool’s Errand are a bunch of chauvinist men who dismiss Garrett and confine her to the gunnery turret on the bottom of the plane.

For a little more than half of the short 83-minute running time, we are stuck with Garrett in the tiny claustrophobic turret. During this time, Garrett interacts with the crew of the Fool’s Errand over the radio, we never see the crew until the later parts of the film.

Chloë Grace Moretz is fantastic in the film and carries the film. She is committed through the whole movie, even as the film gets crazier and crazier in an ever more entertaining way. The ensemble cast of men that fill out the crew of the Fool’s Errand are forgettable, even the one that has a larger part in the overall story. And this is fine, this movie is all about Garrett and her will to live and drive to survive.

Kudos to director Roseanne Liang and to her co-writer on the script, Max Landis. This movie transcends genres, it is a mix of female empowerment, action, war stories and horror. These genres are all smoothly mixed into one entertaining movie. Liang has a steady hand with the film. The movie starts off as a slow burn, but starts to ratchet up as we see glimpses of something on the plane. But then the movie goes for broke near the half-way mark and continues to push for even more – never giving up on maximum entertainment and succeeding all the way to the credits.

The electronic and guitar score by Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper is worth mentioning because it is so unique and works perfectly with the movie. The music picked out for the movie also fit great. It is a real audio and visual dichotomy that happens with this movie. The safe thing a director and composer could have done was put an orchestral score with a World War II film, instead Liang and Bridgman-Cooper scored this film with an 80s-esque score and it works and works very well.

If you have not seen the trailers for this movie, avoid them as they do show a lot of the film in the trailers. But, even if you have seen the trailer, you will be in for a wide ride. Shadow in the Cloud entertains from the first minute all the way until the credits roll. This movie swings for the fences and knocks it out of the park. Well worth a watch.

Watched at home, streamed on iTunes.