Midnight Special is a film directed by Jeff Nichols, and has an amazing cast of very talented actors, including Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver; and is centered on a child with supernatural powers, played by Jaeden Lieberher.
The story is about a father protecting his kid- who has supernatural powers- from the US government, as well as a weird cult to which he and his family once belonged. Both of the parties pursuing the child appear to have sinister plans for him.
I had seen some light buzz around this film over the last few months, but nothing really got me going, until I watched the trailer. As a well-edited trailer, it did a good job of drawing me in, and as a result months later I finally watched the film.
This movie bored me to death.
As a superfan of the science fiction genre, I’m really sad that I found this movie so damn boring. I could hardly keep my focus, and when there were moments that the film drew me in, it held the dramatic moments too long, which made me fall asleep again.
I won’t give away too much of the details, but surprisingly, the film actually starts right in the middle of the action, with a news report about a missing child. This got me hooked and I was happy to watch the mystery behind the pursuit reveal itself piece by piece.
The only problem is that there is a bigger mystery: the supernatural powers of this young child; that is never explained at all. This kind of thing can either frustrate audiences, or captivate them, and I’m pretty sure Midnight Special does the former.
The film does a good job of casually exploring and uncovering how brutish, and at the same time insidious governments can be when they are working to achieve an objective of national security. Other than this, the film also offers an interesting commentary on the love that a father, and mother has for their child.
A Messy Narrative
While these themes are strong, the story itself is complete garbage, and I really don’t care about the overall goal of the main characters in the film.
I may have been interested in where they were going at first, but this destination becomes more and more cryptic as the film trudges on, and by the halfway mark, I didn’t give two shits where they were going, or why they were going there. Don’t even get me started on how anticlimactic it was when they got there eventually.
Overall, I was not impressed with this film; the strong themes do not make up for a weak plot lacking exposition and a cause the audience can get behind.
See it/ Don’t See it: Have nothing else to watch? Yeah maybe check it out for a great performance from Michael Shannon.
Here’s the trailer, which is pretty great, mind you…