Remember Chloe Moretz? It’s been a decade since Kick-Ass came out so it’s easy to forget that she can make a good action movie. Well, there’s the 5th Wave, but we all know how that went. She has reassessed her choices since this franchise killer. This time, Moretz wisely picks up a smaller yet better movie.
Shadow in the Cloud is a mystery thriller with a feminist twist.
A confident female pilot and mechanic from WAAF get on board a B-17 bomber carrying a confidential package. The soldiers are either condescendingly surprised or dismissive. Worse, she’s confined to the turret.
It’s an interesting visual allegory. A woman is forced to deal with sexism in an isolated and claustrophobic ball where her anger has nowhere to go. Her credentials are constantly questioned and her reports are ignored even when her position provides a good vantage point. Worse, she’s not just seeing enemy planes.
Chloe Moretz is engaging as Maude. She doesn’t put up with the sexist jerks on board, even when they regard her as no more than a delivery girl. Maude is forced to drop her accent and reveal her true goal to get their attention as a bat-like creature tears the plane apart.
Unfortunately, despite its feminist twist, Maude’s revelation is a generic plot twist. A capable member of the Women’s Auxilliary Airforce is not on a covert mission or spy quest. Maude goes Mama bear mode as she’s thrown into a movie that’s part war-is-hell story, social commentary, Twilight Zone-ish horror, and domestic drama.
Fortunately, Moretz makes you root for her character even with jarring tonal shifts and low-budget CGI. Shadow in the Cloud will make you stretch your ability to suspend disbelief. But the movie offers mindless escapism with enough winning elements to propel it.
The script has a nice build-up and commits to its pulpy thrills. There’s a nifty synth film score. The movie has a modest but efficiently used setting. It assembles a good supporting cast with proper casting – Samoan Kiwi Beulah Koale plays a lieutenant from the New Zealand Air Force. Most of all, it pays tribute to the women who served the Air Force.
Shadow in the Cloud is a movie that makes the best of what it is – a fun thrill ride with a sufficiently motivated lead.
Shadow in The Cloud
Shadow in the Cloud is a well-acted WW 2 horror movie that offers enough pulpy thrills and earnest social commentary to transcend its B-movie mold.