A religious cult and the FBI both hunt for an eight year old boy, taken by his father and holding onto a secret that could have world changing consequences as the day of judgement approaches.
Science fiction has been in a state of flux for quite some time – between Inception and Star Trek/Wars, it’s as if the genre must either be high art or popcorn fodder. Midnight Special eschews that, with a story that manages driven by the drama over the science fiction, yet has science fiction at its heart – M Night Shyamalan has been trying to do this for years and fallen short. Jeff Nicholls gets it straight away.
“These are the words of our Lord.”
A cast including Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton, it’s powerfully acted and supported by Sam Shepherd, Adam Driver and Kirsten Dunst lead a road film that takes in religious indoctrination, the threat of the unknown and the lengths people will go to protect or destroy it.
“A visible spectrum of light came from his eyes.”
As more is revealed about Lucas’ powers and why he’s so important, Jaeden Lieberher defies expectation. He acts with confidence beyond his years and manages to avoid being overshadowed by Shannon and Edgerton.
Nichols writes with such gravity that it draws the viewer in – the duality of Roy, Lucas and Alton’s evasion and the investigation by The Ranch and the authorities being equally compelling. His direction is equally confident, capturing and drawing out the emotion of his cast.
For those who have seen Gattaca and Another Earth, Midnight Special will continue to reaffirm your faith in science fiction. It’s a beautiful, haunting and emotional film and deserves to be seen by anyone hunting for something different from the genre.