Initially I was more curious than excited about this film because an indie science fiction film doesn't sound too believable. Science Fiction films typically have high budgets for special effects and indie films are lower budget films. I imagined a cheaply made, visually lacking B movie spectacular that would end up being the butt of jokes instead of an entertaining thrill ride. After doing some research on this movie my curiosity turned to excitement so let's jump in and take a look at "Midnight Special" in this box office review...
First, let's look at the cast of this film. We've got some heavy hitting talent in this film which helped elevate the emotionally intense moments that occur throughout the film. Michael Shannon plays "Roy" the father who is trying to protect his child at all costs. His portrayal of the father was incredible. His character ran the gambit of emotions and who better than Michael Shannon to capture all these feelings on screen for us. Fear, anger, rage, love, sorrow and more. Next we have Joel Edgerton who plays his partner in crime trying to keep his friends son safe from religious nut jobs and the federal government. This character was much more subtle and he seemed to provide the trustworthiness you would need in order to be the right hand in a situation this delicate. The shining star of this film was Jaeden Lieberher. This kid can act! He had innocent curiosity, fear, panic, love, compassion, determination and physical pain all on screen. I left the theater impressed with the acting chops he brought to this film. Sharing screen time with the talents of Michael and Joel and holding your own is no small task and Jaeden delivered. Keeps your eyes open for this young man in future films.
The story is simple. A child is deemed "special" because he can speak in tongues, has a curious ability to communicate with electronic devices and can communicate using light spectrums that shoot from his eyes into yours. He's hailed as a savior to one religious group who lives on a ranch and the federal government see him as a threat.
Overall, the bulk of this film is pretty simple special effects. It was more practical fist fights, gun shots, car chases, etc. There are a few key moments where the special effects shine and I won't get into those moments because it would spoil certain mysteries in the film that are revealed by the end of the movie. That being said, when the special effects are on display they look incredible. I was thrilled with how good this movie looks from start to finish. It's dark and eery and then bright and brilliant. This is a journey in all respects.
"Midnight Special" is in theaters now! I contend this film will be in my Top 10 favorite films of the year. There is so much to enjoy and if you favor indie and science fiction films this will delight you. It starts a little slow but that is short lived. This is one of those films you need to see on the big screen. It's worth the time and money.
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