I have to admit… This one fell really flat for me. Now in the movie’s defense, I’m also in the midst of what I believe to be a full-blown Paul Pfeiffer style allergy attack, so maybe the sheer congestion in my head is blocking my brain and numbing my soul. Having made my disclaimer.. I just wasn’t feeling it.
The story begins in the midst of a mystery and it is slow to reveal itself, removing bits of layers at a time. Bear with it for about 23 minutes for a sampling of the cool stuff. This film is one part chase film (minus most of the action), two parts sci-fi, and one small part family drama (minus a lot of the intense drama). It harkens back to 80’s sci-fi flicks, but in a lack-luster way. Banking on 80’s kid nostalgia is really big right now (it worked on me, the poster sucked me in BIG TIME), but there are other projects out there that have worked the 80’s sci-fi kid nostalgia in a much more effective and engaging way. I had an idea of where the unraveling of the mystery was headed but none of the characters really made me care where it was going. Joel Edgerton was by far the most interesting character in this piece, but he’s really the only one I cared much about. The religious fanatic element in the story was intriguing and I wish there had been more of that aspect worked in, because it piqued my interest, before sort of falling to the wayside.
Midnight Special has been received pretty well by both audiences and critics (4/4 Roger Ebert, 83% on Rotten Tomatoes), so my sentiment is definitely in the minority. Clearly this film was meant to be more profound than the typical genre film, exploring family ties and what it truly means to love as a parent. Fully understanding that, I missed the synthesizer infused fun I’ve come to expect from a “hey 80’s babies, watch this” project. Maybe it’s because I am not the true target audience for this, maybe it’s because I should have waited to watch it when I was feeling better and more able to actively engage, or maybe it would have fallen flat for me either way.Second disclaimer: I’m also more of a horror girl than a straight sci-fi girl so throw another skew into the mix.If you are a fan of clear cut and dry sci-fi, you may love it and think I’m insane. And if that’s the case, I’d love to hear from you. As of now, this is a skip for me. I’d say watch Stranger Things instead. While they are incredibly different, ST personally satisfied my insatiable 80’s sci-fi nostalgia in a big way.