Review – Shadow in the Cloud
Genre: War, Horror, Action
Director: Roseanne Liang
Producer: Fred Berger, Tom Hern, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Kelly McCormick
Writer: Max Landis, Roseanne Liang
Release Date (Streaming): May 5, 2021
Box Office (Gross USA): $90.0K
Runtime: 1h 23m
Production Co: Four Knights Film, Rhea Films (II)
Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Chloë Grace Moretz as Flying Officer Maude Garrett/Johnson
Taylor John Smith as Staff Sergeant Walter Quaid, top turret gunner
Beulah Koale as RNZAF Flight Lieutenant Anton Williams, the bomber’s co-pilot
Nick Robinson as Private Stu Beckell, tail gunner
Callan Mulvey as Captain John Reeves, the bomber’s pilot
Benedict Wall as Private Tommy Dorn
Joe Witkowski as Lieutenant Bradley Finch, navigator
Byron Coll as Technical Sergeant Terrence Taggart, radio operator
In the throes of World War II, Captain Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz) joins the all-male crew of a B-17 bomber with a top-secret package. Caught off guard by the presence of a woman on a military flight, the crew tests Maude’s every move. Just as her quick wit is winning them over, strange happenings and holes in her backstory incite paranoia surrounding her true mission. But this crew has more to fear…lurking in the shadows, something sinister is tearing at the heart of the plane. Trapped between an oncoming air ambush and an evil lurking within, Maude must push beyond her limits to save the hapless crew and protect her mysterious cargo.
This movie is a classic, a classic mess of genres, plots, characters and direction. The movie starts with an old 1940s gremlins information cartoon, warning airmen there are no little monsters in planes and that they are responsible for their crew and equipment.
We cut to Maude forging orders to hitch a ride on the Fool’s Errand a bomber out of New Zealand. The crew are resistant, to say the least, and jam her in the belly gunner’s seat. Maude brought a confidential parcel on board and the crew keep pestering her to find out what’s in it. Most of the movie then focuses on Maude’s point of view from the belly of the plane, which seems innovative and interesting.
What then follows is about ten minutes of the most disgusting, sexist bile I’ve heard in years as each crewman takes turn harassing, abusing and generally being dicks. At this point, the movie is a standard WWII flick.
We then get weird scenes like a Japanese spotter plan following (the shadow in the cloud from the title), a six-foot bat creature that decides to start taking the plane apart and the final plot twist, the package is a baby.
It gets weirder from there with the crew not believing her, then believing her and the gremlin stealing the baby and dangling it on a pipe out of the plane’s wing. Cue Maude climbing along the underside of a plane at 8,000 with a broken arm or finger or both.
I’ll leave the rest to your imagination except to highlight the funniest ten seconds of the film…ever… when Maude falls out a hole in the plane straight into an exploding Japanese fighter that (ahem) rebounds her back into the hole making Isaac Newton turn about four times in his grave. It’s absolutely, stunningly stupid.
Babies, Bombers, Gremlins and Sexism fill this forgettable movie for a boring 84 minutes although Moretz should win an award for having a straight face throughout. The Groundskeeper Willie Scotsman stereotype Terrence Taggart is the final sin in this craphole of a movie.
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