By Jeff Labrecque
Updated June 13, 2011 at 10:30 PM EDT
Credit: James Kachan/AP Images for Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Movie

There are a lot of spoilers to preserve in J.J. Abrams’ Super 8, but I have no problem telling you that Bruce Greenwood plays the “monster” that escapes the train-wreck and turns an Ohio town upside down. This isn’t exactly a Kaiser Söze breach, since Greenwood, who starred as J.F.K. in Thirteen Days and worked with Abrams on Star Trek, contributed the performance-capture work for the scary creature. The only real trace of his involvement is in the closing credits, which list his name next to a character named Cooper. But as the Montreal Gazette writes, Cooper was what Abrams and the crew named their mysterious critter. (It might be another nod to the Spielberg mythos: recall that the unreliable shark in Jaws had a name too, Bruce.) OKAY, NOW THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD — READ ON AT YOUR OWN PERIL:

Greenwood’s work isn’t exactly of the Andy Serkis variety. Cooper darts through the shadows of the film, so by the time he finally reveals himself, you’re so excited to finally take him all in, that the identity of the actor behind the character remains an afterthought. Only when you learn that Greenwood gave him his spark do you think back to a certain moment in the film where his character connects with a young boy. There is more than a little Greenwood there after all.

Were you surprised that an actor was responsible for Cooper, and not 100 percent CG animation? If you’ve seen the film, how would you describe Cooper’s appearance? I’m going with a mix of General Grievous and a Ridley Scott’s Alien alien.

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Super 8

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 111 minutes
  • J.J. Abrams