The second Midnight Madness feature of the Toronto International Film Festival is a particularly fast and furious action-horror film. Yes, it has a particular long beat that takes place in a very small gunner cockpit. I did enjoy the implication that we’re trapped in the same confined space with the main lead and therefore we only learn things from her point of view. That being said, this is an action film so we know she’s bound to get out and kick some ass.
Shadow In The Cloud was written and directed by Roseanne Liang. Flight officer Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz) is the custodian of a secret package. She boards a rickety old B-17 Flying Fortress, “A Fool’s Errands” on a secret mission. The all-male crew is rather unsympathetic and leers and jeers at her, demeaning her status and ignoring her protests. She is commanded to sit inside the ball turret located in the underbelly of the plane. From here she notices two things: the silhouette of a possible enemy plane and a menacing shadow crawling underneath the engines.
I think it’s important to know there’s a long sequence that takes place with Garrett just inside the ball turret, however she will have more to do than that. This one is a very demanding role, both physically and intellectually for Moretz, with the film really resting on her very capable shoulders. Her performance as Garrett is a tour-de-force, and as the situation literally escalates from bad to worse you realize that nobody is going to help her out. She’s the only hope both the package and the crew really have.
The film does have some ludicrous action scenes, specially outside the plane that requires some suspension of disbelief. The secret inside the package is also rather convoluted but it does explain why she’s so passionately protective of it. I just kinda wish they had not gone for such a traditional angle regarding what the package is, and kept to the whole confidential thing instead. I don’t think the heroine needed to justify her actions by making them personal. That being said, those shortcomings barely register when the action is done so well. Yes, Garrett is a badass but boy does everything seem to be going against her. Fortunately none of her antagonists have any idea how far she will go to complete her mission.
Highly recommended for action enthusiasts and just to see a woman kick ass in her own way in the middle of World War II. I might have small reservations on the almost weightless action scenes and the convoluted reveal of what Garrett’s real agenda is, but Moretz is just a force of nature both in her acting performance both physical and mental. Overall, this one is a strong action film with horror elements and a new action heroine in Moretz. This one is very much worth your time.
That will do for now.