Midnight Special

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For something that sounds like a Wendy’s promotion this movie was oddly artistic and science fiction-y. But still incredibly disappointing, exactly like a Wendy’s promotion!

This is a weird lil one-off about a magical boy who was raised in a cult and worshipped as the voice of God but ACTUALLY he’s just an alien who belongs to another world! The FBI finds out about him and tries to chase him, but since he has powers and is telepathic, they don’t get him. The whole movie is one long chase. Like if a normal action movie took a muscle relaxant and Signs was playing in the background.

All the actors were fine (and white!) they were just acting in a very slow burning fuse of conceptual dynamite that relied on the viewer to love something like “conceptual dynamite.”

The boy Alton wears goggles most of the time because the special effects people saw X-Men and liked it. (It makes NO sense how when he opens his eyes without goggles there’s this white light that can upturn trucks and blow holes in walls BUT behind simple every day swim goggles the light is rendered harmless). His parents, Michael Shannon (bae) and Kirsten Dunst (opposite) are trying to take him somewhere-coordinates he predicted in a dream?-but they are being chased by the FBI who saw something powerful and weird and immediately decided they need to confiscate & weaponize it . Joel Edgerton helps out because he knew Roy (Michael Shannon) as a child and he thought this movie would get him something at Sundance. Sorry Joel!! 😦

Adam Driver plays some kind of FBI person and it’s the first role he doesn’t seem like a complete asshole in, so I guess he really can act.

I’m sorry, I’m just so full of hate right now-this movie has taken me about three weeks to finish and I keep renewing it from the library because I’m a psychopath and I didn’t want to return it until I was finished but I’m also a horrible procrastinator so now I have fines on it and resentment built up towards it. But also it wasn’t a very good movie.

It looked cool and people you know are in it which might fool some but no great artistic depths are being plumbed here. Also Kirsten Dunst has a long braid as a character choice and in the end she cuts in off in the mirror as some kind of V for Vendetta lite which was derivative to me. ALSO there’s a scene where Alton is finally going up to his rightful world (where everyone has light coming out of their eyes and they don’t even NEED goggles), and she’s left on the ground and there’s just these bright flashes and she “lets him go” and just, HOW MANY more movies do we as a society need where Kirsten Dunst is bathed in symbolic light before nodding meaningfully?? I know I personally don’t need any more! Not even one more!!

I think I felt bad for Kirsten’s braid because you could tell it had a lot more to give, but it just didn’t get a lot of airtime or emotional consideration to be honest. First of all, she’s in this cult where everyone lives on a farm and there’s a few hundred other people so right from the jump that’s a LOT of braids to compete with. Also I do think it got out shined (pun intended) by Alton’s goggles because they were always in scenes together and you know what they say-never do a scene with babies, animals, or goggles that defy the laws of time and space because no one’s going to pay any attention to you! Then she just cut it off at the end and you KNOW she didn’t donate it to locks of love or anything, even though it was definitely long enough. That braid just screamed wasted potential to me. Maybe it’ll get a spinoff where the braid goes out in the world looking for a kid with cancer but finds love instead. We can only hope.

Usually in these I talk about some of my favorite scenes but this whole movie was one long scene that just kept stopping different places. A gas station here, a motel there, an all white FBI interrogation room, a clearing in the woods that’s really a portal to another world, blah blah, you get it.

I truly genuinely have nothing to say. That’s a specific kind of failure of art when it doesn’t even elicit bad emotions, just nothing. An all blank expanse of feeling and thought.

I think they made this movie for people who love cults, who love action movies, who love science fiction, but who have very very serious heart conditions, who need everything to be calm and boring all the time so their blood pressure doesn’t go up. If any of that is true, this movie was a huge success and I hope they’re all eating pudding and blinking at it happily.

I however, as a person living in the world, felt very very bored and underwhelmed and truly wish this movie didn’t exist at all because then I wouldn’t have had any hopes for it and checked it out of the library, and then I wouldn’t have wasted three weeks of my life and two dollars in library fines that I’ll never get back. The good thing though, the silver lining if you will (and I will) is that the writer and the director are the same person so we know EXACTLY who to blame. Sometimes there’s confusion and it’s hard to tell what specifically was at fault but in this case, they are the work of the same man, Jeff Nichols, and that work was not good to me.

All Jeff Nichols’ movies sound like Urban Decay lipstick names: Mud, Take Shelter, Loving, Midnight Special. For that, and that alone, he has my respect. 

One and a half out of three zip tie handcuffs, would NOT masturbate again even if under extreme circumstances.

 

 

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