You remember the days of surfing the channels on the television with your remote in hand while lazily sitting on the couch? Fun times right? Well, we’ve upgraded to the days of surfing all the apps at our disposal via our smart TV, video game console, computer and even our smart phones; not much improvement I suppose. Well, if you’ve been scrolling the endless list of things to watch you might have come across a film titled Shadow in the Cloud, which features a woman either standing against a backdrop of wartime chaos or the other being a woman leaning out the side of an airplane! Yep, that’s the one and if you’re in the mood of a no-nonsense movie that’s all thrills and no brains then look no further than this little gem.
It’s 1943. WWII is in full swing and a young female Flight Officer is looking to hitch a ride from Auckland, New Zealand to Samoa. Her name is Maude Garrett (Chloe Grace Moretz). She’s carrying bag with confidential information and has a pass to board a plane on the runway. A B-17 bomber arrives, aptly named “The Fool’s Errand” featuring a woman with a perky chest and a sincere wartime smile, and Maude quickly hops aboard much to the dismay of all the men who occupy the plane. They have their orders to deliver precious cargo and the least they expected was to have a woman onboard their aircraft. After a loud commotion of her being onboard, the men decide to allow her to stay only she has to sit in the Sperry during the flight. That’s the gunner’s seat on the lower belly of the aircraft. A tight fit for anyone but Maude just deals with it.
Most of the men onboard the flight are unsure of why this woman is on their flight and during radio chatter we here the full swing of misogynistic banter among the crew. The flight is taking a beating due to the rain they encounter during the flight but something else is looming outside. The crew is on high alert for Japanese planes that could be surveying the area but there’s something else out there. Turns out that something has boarded the flight and you might think it could be a saboteur or even a monster, but no no no, it’s even worse…a gremlin!
The gremlin has only one purpose in life and that’s to cause havoc and dismay for the humans and much to the horror of the crew and Maude, sure enough it does. We later learn of Maude’s true intentions but even then the movie is so quick to move, that’s it’s difficult for us to become deeply invested in any of the male characters in the movie. We mainly focus on Maude since she’s the only character who seems to have the most time being developed. The battle sequences between the crew and this gremlin are immensely entertaining, and even he dogfights between the crew and the Japanese Zero is a nice throwback to the older war movies in the past.
If you’ve seen any of the trailers or previews of this movie, then you’ll probably guess that it’s absolutely ridiculous. There’s a moment when Maude is climbing the plane from the outside while it’s flying and strangely she’s isn’t jerked away from the sheer force of the wind velocity or a scene in which a plane explodes while she’s free falling and the force of the explosion propels her upwards to safety. It’s all stupid and yet I enjoyed the film for what it was. Sadly, the male characters aren’t interesting or intriguing to say the least. The misogynistic language was overdone and way too crude for enjoyment or laughs and I really took to liking this gremlin creature. If you’re getting a sense of what I’m saying then this movie can be described with one word; silly. It’s a way to shut the world out for a mere eighty minutes and forget that’s all around you. It’s forgettable, stupid and utterly nuts but still, Chloe Grace Moretz brings the charm to give you a smile in the end.
Verdict: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
Shadow in the Cloud is a B-movie in every sense of the word. It’s fast-paced, loose on plot albeit some creative devices that made for a rolling of the eyes or chuckles at the screen. Chloe Grace Moretz holds the film together but just barely and the script by Max Landis along with co-writer and director Roseanne Liang showed some promise as the film progressed during its brisky runtime. Even with all the excitement and insane moments, I can’t recommend paying full price for this film, but if it goes on sale, then give it a shot. I’ll admit that it’s a stupid movie with not much there, however, it serves its purpose as being dumb fun and for that Shadow in the Cloud makes for a goofy movie night in which watching this film will do you better than enduring a night of boredom.