08th Jan2021

‘Shadow in the Cloud’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Chloe Grace Moretz, Callan Mulvey, Nick Robinson | Written by Max Landis, Roseanne Liang | Directed by Roseanne Liang

This move truly was a game of two halves! I legitimately sit here for the first time, in sometime, truly struggling to come up with a single solitary clue what I am going to write about Shadow in the Cloud. To say I went into this with little expectations would be an understatement. I went into this with ZERO expectations, I knew nothing about it. On the poster we have an image of Chloe Grace Moretz in 1940s attire walking away from an exploding plane carrying a satchel…

A quick IMDb search later and I find that this was written by Max Landis, being a big fan of the man’s previous work I got fairly excited for checking it out… A further search and, according to the trivia section, Landis was booted from the project and his script was overhauled by the director. I was a tad less excited but still intrigued enough but let me tell you… I was not ready for Shadow in the Cloud.

Shadow in the Cloud opens smack dab in the middle of World War 2. On a dark stormy night Maude Garrett (Grace Moretz) boards a B-17 Bomber carrying a top secret package. Met with some resilience and paranoia she is confined to the turret on the belly of the plane. Not long into the flight Maude finds herself subjected to lad banter before she notices something on the wing, something terrifying! Armed with her bravery and her wit Maude must win over the men, defeat the creature, fend off the Japanese and protect the package.

To be perfectly honest with you all, this movie doesn’t just ask for you to have a suspension of disbelief, it asks you to take everything you know about logic, science and faith then just throw all of that crap in the bin because your not going to need it when watching the bonkers crazy weird-fest. Having said that, I can’t say Shadow in the Cloud is not entertaining!

The first half of the movie plays out like the classic Willaim Shatner Twilight Zone episode – the one with the Gremlin on the wing – and is actually a really solid tense well written, well performed and well made first half. Grace Moretz is carrying this movie on her shoulders and she is super strong considering she is the main focus. The dialogue for the radio chatter between our plane passengers is superb (although very misogynistic and very sexist but of its time) and adds a ton of tension.

Then… the creature turns up on the wing! The effects on the gremlin are actually pretty decent as it goes, but I couldn’t know how nuts this was about to get. Shortly after meeting the creature the plane is attacked by some enemy Japanese planes and the run to the end of the flick becomes a thrill ride with a strangely well fitting synth-y retro score that plays nicely over Grace Moretz hanging off the underneath of the plane somewhat cartoonishly followed by her falling out of the plane only to be blown back in by the explosion of a Japanese plane in fairly bombastic fashion, I mean I was taking a drink at this moment and couldn’t control my convulsion enough to stop it from going everywhere! This part of Shadow in the Cloud is straight up lunacy on an epic Fast and Furious scale… but bloody good fun!

If you have a spare hour and a half then you could watch a lot worse than Shadow in the Cloud. It’s actually pretty fun once you get past how over the top the female empowerment statement is, I mean yeah I get it “girl power, right on” but killing all the men in the movie off as unceremoniously as they do just to make a bit of a point (and not all that well really) is a strange choice. I guess I mean that the message was fairly obvious however it got lost in the mix. I mean there is literally a moment where she is an absolute kick-ass bad-ass and then she promptly takes out her boob and starts breast feeding! Talk about being a little bit on the nose.

I would love to know how much of the Landis’ script survived though. It’s not the worst film ever and it’s always nice to see Chloe Grace Moretz flexing her acting muscle and being all she can be. Less of that British accent though please.

*** 3/5

4 Responses to “‘Shadow in the Cloud’ Review”

  • John P Lancia

    3 out of 5? Really? Are you afraid you won’t get invited to any Hollywood junkets if you give movies the ratings they deserve?

    This movie was a steaming pile of crap, The director should be punished by having her name put on the writing credits.

    • kevin haldon

      I also completely agree with the writing credit… if your going to sack Max Landis and over haul the script, then take his name off the movie

    • Barry

      Well said! This movie is just awful.
      Nothing in it has any sense of reality.
      No men would have treated a woman like that in the 40’s!
      This was made as an insult to any decent human being’s intelligence.
      A very poorly written and produced pile of “men are pigs” and women are superhuman bullshit propaganda. 0/5 Worthless crap!

  • kevin haldon

    Hahaha, my friend I being invited to Hollywood Junkets is not a worry of mine.

    I did enjoy the first half of the movie, okay not in a “this is amazing” kind of a way but in a “this cheesy camp” kind of way.

    I agree the movie is not amazing but hey neither is The Room and I still rate it for that guilty pleasure enjoyment it gives me.

    I’ll never watch this one again that’s for sure, the second half made sure of that but I just watched WW84 and think Shadow in the Cloud is a better movie… Make of that what you will!!!