Chloë Grace Moretz in Shadow in the Cloud.

Chloë Grace Moretz is successful as an action hero in Shadow in the Cloud, a hysterical genre mashup that sees her World War II character battling sexism, Japanese fighter pilots and—oh yeah—a big-assed gremlin.

Moretz is Maude, a mysterious, last-minute passenger on a fighter plane going on what’s supposed to be a non-combat mission. She has a parcel that should not be opened, a gun nobody knows about, and a really bad English accent. The all-male crew of pigheaded trash-talkers stick her in the gun turret beneath the plane and start jawing about all the gross things they’d like to do to her.

Not long into the flight, Twilight Zone-style, Maude sees something crawling on the plane, while also seeing a possible enemy fighter beneath the plane. Director Roseanne Liang—with the help of some snappy editing, terrific special effects and a pulsing soundtrack—cranks up the crazed action in a way that will have you cackling with glee.

The film is a blast. Its plausibility goes way off the rails, but you won’t care. Maude faces all of her enemies with fierce success, thanks to some of Moretz’s best work to date. She has a career of kicking ass on film ahead of her if she wants it.

In addition to the Twilight Zone, the film pays fun homage to that great Warner Bros. cartoon in which Bugs Bunny battles a gremlin on his plane. It’s a fun film, and it gets 2021 off to an entertaining start.

Shadow in the Cloud is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.

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