‘Shadow in the Cloud’ Review: There’s Mischief in the Air


“Shadow in the Cloud” is a kind of girl power action adventure where women can’t just do anything, but anything – including fighting sexist Boers, enemy fire, and a gremlin at once from the bottom of a bomber during the World War II.

At the center of this spectacle is Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz), an auxiliary officer in the women’s air force who joins the all-male crew of the bomber in Auckland, New Zealand, to transport a classified package. When we learn what is in the package that dangles precariously from Maude’s arm during her stunts in the air, it is clear that our heroine defies not only death but also logic.

But more goofy deeds have been done on screen (usually by guys), and it helps that Roseanne Liang’s horror-action hybrid confidently leans into his Choppiness. The colors are dingy, the score synth-heavy and the characters stupid – especially the men on the flight who are both angry and sexually excited about Maude’s sudden appearance and immediately banished to the ball tower of the plane.

It’s a clever story that reduces much of the film to Moretz’s charismatic face and the voices of the other actors playing their naughty jokes gleefully over the intercom. Then the CGI gremlin appears and forces Maude (and Liang) to maneuver impressively in a confined space.

The twists and turns come quickly in the first half of the film; in the second, the narrative dissolves in a zigzag of flying bodies and explosions that bend the laws of space-time. But the implausibility of everything is an advantage: there is never a moment in this boisterous movie when you can say what’s next.

Shadow in the cloud
Rated R for creepy monsters, men with bad mouths, and bloody sights. Running time: 1 hour 23 minutes. To rent or buy in cinemas and on Apple TV, Google Play and other streaming platforms as well as pay TV operators. Please read the Policies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before watching films in theaters.