Duration: 01 Hr 23 Mins
Genre: Action, Horror, War
Director: Roseanne Liang
Writers: Max Landis, Roseanne Liang
Producers: Fred Berger, Alexander Borgers, Jean-Luc De Fanti, Terry Dougas, Tom Hern, Belindalee Hope, Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Annie Marter, Kelly McCormick, Sandra Yee Ling
Music: Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper
Cinematography: Kit Fraser
Editing: Tom Eagles
Art Direction: Mark Stephen
Release Date: 01 January 2021 (USA)
Star Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Beulah Koale, Taylor John Smith, Callan Mulvey, Benedict Wall, Byron Coll, Joe Witkowski, Liam Legge, Asher Bridle, Ryan Cooper, Joshua Marchant
Plot: The film ‘Shadow in the Cloud’ revolves around a tough, savvy survivor Maude Garrett (Chloe Grace Moretz), who bluffs her way aboard a B-17 bomber flying from Auckland, New Zealand to the tiny island of Samoa, during World War II with a broken arm and a top-secret bag.
It is of utmost importance that she gets to her destination however, the all-male crew isn’t happy about this last-minute addition. Since she has orders from the base commander, none are willing to outright refuse her joining them on the flight. The challenge that she got to overcome, forms the rest of the story.
Review: Written by Max Landis, Roseanne Liang and directed by newcomer Roseanne Liang, ‘Shadow in the Cloud’ is really a one-woman show focused entirely on Chloe Grace Moretz. But the film feels like an old-time radio drama mixed with the Twilight Zone classic ‘Nightmare At 20,000 Feet’. Yet another B-movie causality that will likely crash harder than this B-17 bomber flying, in which we spend most of our time!
The film begins as a gritty commentary on female empowerment and sexism in the air force, that suddenly changes into horror and then into a comedic B-movie cheese-fest with stunts that would make ‘The Fast and the Furious' squad blush. If the movie had just stuck with the latter idea and built up layers of absurdity, it may have been a good film! Unfortunately, the film fails on so many levels that even Chloë Grace Moretz’s acting can’t save it.
The dialogues and relentlessly negative view of men in the film, are way too offensively over the top, and this becomes one of the other factors that hurts the film and adversely impacts the viewing experience. Since the film depicts the 1940’s war period, it is hard to believe that every single man would be so excessively offensive and rude.
What begins as a grounded, relatively suspenseful flick soon turns into something unbelievable, that makes it very difficult to get invested in the story.
And as far as the technical aspects of the film are concerned, ‘Shadow in the Cloud’ does have a few good twists, but those twists keep on twisting to such a degree that it vomits CGI silliness all over the production.
In short, all the hallmarks of the best B-movies are here, complete with cartoony physics, unintentionally hilarious one-liners, and a ridiculous ending that is designed to leave a goofy grin on your face. You will surely wonder how all of this went wrong in the editing room.
Overall, if you can ignore the historical inaccuracies, the physic-defying stunts, poor writing, horrendous twists, and clumsy editing then you may have a good time. Chloë Grace Mortez has done her absolute best she can with the script, but ‘Shadow in the Cloud’ is a film that is probably best kept in the shadows!