Shadow in the Cloud ★★★★½

No, I'm not joking with that rating. This movie was bugnuts crazy and I'd watch it again right now if I could.

Not since Mandy have I been so surprised by a film taking C-movie ingredients and going wild with them. This isn't as good as Mandy (because hardly anything is), but like with that film I left the cinema with a big grin on my face.

The movie hooked me right away with a one-two-three punch. First a hilarious fake 'Private Snafu' style cartoon before the film., then *bam* a big brash synth score, and then *BAM* a huge old WW2 bomber, the sort of plane that makes every movie better. I was so enthralled in the film that I didn't notice until the end that there were no external shots of the plane in flight. The film feels like it wrung the most out of a small budget.

The first half of the movie is Chloe Moretz trapped in a confined space arguing on the radio. The film could have just been this the whole time and it still would have been interesting. But then the enemy fighters turn up. Followed by, y'know, a real live gremlin. Then there's a twist that actually disappointed me - at first. But that lead to a series of action sequences that are so bonkers, and genuinely nerve wracking to me, that they make Captain America seem like a Ken Loach movie. The film is even nice enough to give us an extra climax that's very satisfying.

Oh, and it's also explicitly unapologetically feminist.
Here's what I imagine happened: Max Landis wrote the basic story, but director-writer Roseanne Liang refitted it into a story about something.
Moretz puts up with so much cartoonish sexism that it would have annoyed me, except that I remembered that there is a gremlin on the loose, and just like in a slasher movie the supporting cast need to be such jerks that it's a relief when the slaughter begins.
But it goes further than that. One of the final shots of the movie is the sexist nose art burning. And the credits run while Kate Bush's 'Hounds Of Love' plays over a montage of women at war footage. It's all rad af.