With as much knowledge as a quick glance at a trailer can give you, I went to see ‘Midnight Special’ not really knowing what to expect. What I saw was a confusing sic-fi thriller which I didn’t really understand but still thoroughly enjoyed.
One thing I really liked about this film is where it starts. You’re thrown straight into the action with the narration of a news report giving the audience a brief explanation of what’s going on before you see two men and a young boy driving away from a hotel under the cover of darkness and away towards wherever they’re going. The film follows these men – Roy Tomlin (Michael Tomlin) and a man named Lucas (Joel Egerton) – and the child, Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher) as they runaway from the police and a cult of people known as the Ranch chasing down the boy. Alton appears to have a mystical power where a “visible spectrum of light” beams out from his eyes, providing whoever is looking at the child a look at some undescribed yet mystical sight.
The film is very tense and exciting and the audience are on the edge of their seats the whole way through. The story progresses as the film goes on and things become clearer and clearer as to why Roy, Lucas and Alton are on the run. We mainly learn things through the character Paul Sevier (played by Adam Driver) as he interviews people about Alton and information comes to light about his background and powers. I really like the character of Sevier and think he’s one of the best parts of the film, bringing some brief humour to the movie and we find out most of what’s going on in the film through him.
What we find out, though, is very little. It may just be me not paying attention, but some key aspects of the film seemed to be unexplained. For instance, throughout the movie it is mentioned that Alton has to be at a certain location on a certain date for reasons unknown, but how did the characters find out about that location and date? And why do they know it is of significance? I thought that by the end of the film It would’ve been revealed, however I am still at a loss as to why anyone in the film knows about this date or location.
Another example of this is from Paul Sevier when trying to work out where Alton and the two men are going. After staring at some co-ordinates on a whiteboard for a while, he then stands up, circles two numbers in red pen, and then magically knows where the runaways are going. Personally I didn’t see any explanation as to how Sevier managed to do this and it wasn’t expanded upon later in the film either.
Apart from this, however, I really enjoyed ‘Midnight Special’. Its tense, fast-paced and gripping. But the lack of detail and explanation to some things left me confused and frustrated, meaning I’ll have to give this film only seven-out-of-ten.
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