Take your seat and buckle in because Chloë Grace Moretz is ready to take you for a ride in Shadow in the Cloud, and this one is ABSOLUTELY INSANE with its PURE PULP FUN.
On a stormy night during World War II, a female pilot, Flight Officer Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz) with top-secret cargo talks her way on board a bomber plane about to take-off. The crass all-male crew reluctantly agrees, but their suspicions about her identity and the mysterious cargo quickly grow. Just then a shadow appears in the clouds – was it the incoming Japanese fleet? Or caused by some other sinister stowaway?
New Zealand filmmaker Roseanne Liang cranks up the action, with this, her first action feature in Shadow in the Cloud, and the result is something that is outlandishly fun. An experiment in genre and tension, Liang pulls from classic action movies, war dramas, 1980s slasher films, creature features and the best of grindhouse cinema and crafts what can be described as the ultimate in-your-face Midnight Movie. And Shadow in the Cloud is sure to cause your adrenaline to spike. From its opening frame, till its closing moments, Liang builds out a simmering tension that soon turns into a full boil assault as her protagonist, Flight Officer Garrett (Moretz), takes on a dangerous unforeseen enemy and you never know where this one is going to take you.
In terms of the cinematic experience, Shadow in the Cloud is a film that keeps you guessing the whole way through and the less you know upfront about this film’s narrative, the more engaging it is on the screen. I went into this one completely blind, and this made its grindhouse appeal all the more entertaining, as you are completely left off guard by its originality and intensity. From my reaction to Shadow in the Cloud, I can only surmise that Liang’s goal was to make a ‘kick-ass’ action movie, and in that, she succeeded with a film that cranks your adrenaline to its limits.
Stepping into the lead of Shadow in the Cloud is Chloë Grace Moretz as Flight Officer Garrett, a WWII Air Corps aviator who is carrying a top-secret package that must be transported off base. And she’ll do anything necessary to protect it. Like Liang, Grace plays with her audience’s expectations throughout the entirety of Shadow in the Cloud, and her performance keeps her audience on a razor’s edge. You never know how she’s going to react, and this ever-changing narrative truly tests the resolve of her character through and through. From the get-go, Moretz has been an action cinema veteran and in Shadow in the Cloud, she kicks this into high gear with a kick-ass assault that proves how gnarly she can get as Garrett.
The action of Shadow in the Cloud can best be described as WILD, and action junkies who are seeking their fix will be in for a treat with this one. From shoot-em up’s with Japanese Zero planes to explosively insane aerobatics to a bone-crunching confrontation with a sinister stowaway, Shadow in the Cloud cranks up the action and the intensity doesn’t let up for a moment. Both Liang and Moretz are very creative in their collaboration and their use of action as a storytelling method in Shadow in the Cloud, and the resulting set-pieces, will have you on the edge of your seat.
Shadow in the Cloud is a piece of pure grindhouse cinema which is dialled all the way up to 100. It delivers a unique genre re-mix, and it hits with the force of a Webley Revolver! If you’re seeking some midnight movie madness, Shadow in the Cloud is a pure winner.
Image: Roadshow Films