Shadow in the Cloud
Chloe Grace Moretz portrays Maude Garrett, a young woman in World War II who has a secret courier mission: she has a package that must be delivered aboard the B-17 bomber “The Fool’s Errand.” The men on board treat her dismissively and confine her to the below-belly gun while one of them promises to take care of the package.
No sooner are they in the air when Garrett notices a man-sized rodent stripping away parts of the plane. It’s a “gremlin” – a mythical creature known to plague flight crews. She attempts to shoot it down when a number of Japanese jets appear. She shoots one down and loses track of the Gremlin.
I’m a big fan of Moretz’s and have been following her career since I first saw her in “Kick-Ass.” She’s always played the sort of spunky under-girl. And she’s often quite athletic.
Here, she takes on a role that requires her to be in mid-frame, alone, for more than half the movie. The first half of the film shows Maretz’s Maude fighting three enemies: the misogynistic airmen on her ship, the Japanese airships, and the rodent-like gremlins which are taking her airship apart. She endures broken bones, humiliation, and losing her turret.
The film is less of a blockbuster and more of a show case for Moretz’s ample skills. There are plenty of plot holes in the script. But it gives Moretz the chance to exude glee, anger, disappointment, pain, determination, and a host of other emotions – all in the first half of the film where she is the only on-screen character. From the midpoint on, she is an action hero of the first order. And in the final scene, a highly protective mother.
To say that Maretz carries this film is an understatement. It’s all her. Like Brie Larson in “Room”, Maretz must hold the audience’s interest and attention the entire duration of the film. It’s no small feat and Moretz delivers in spades.
Moretz has caused significant ripples in the movie industry. She openly criticized the producers of one of her films for asking her to wear “chicken cutlets” and a push-up bra in a film – when she was only 16 years old. She refused, and speculation holds that she’s been blackballed ever since. This may well be true, as “Shadow in the Cloud” is quite a “B” movie, released out of Australia/New Zealand. Her roles since emerging as a young adult have been few, far between, and un-worthy of note.
While “Cloud” is not a big theatrical film, it is a major role for Moretz. She’s a true, rare talent. I’m hoping this film will expose her exceptional acting skills to other producers and directors who can appreciate her talents. As I said, I’ve watched her grow up on screen since 2010’s “Kick-Ass.” She is an unstoppable force. Given the opportunity, Moretz could rule Hollywood.