Tuesday, December 29, 2020


THE MIDNIGHT SKY is a deeply derivative, mediocre sci-fi movie that will be utterly predictable and unsatisfying to anyone even half decent with the canon. It stars and is directed by George Clooney. He plays a scientist on a future earth ravished by some kind of non-specific disaster. Naturally he's also dying because Pathos. As is the way with these sorts of film, scientific geniuses are self-involved dicks, so earlier in his life he has turned his back on the love of his life and his daughter. So when in old age this dying scientist starts seeing a young girl called Iris in his arctic base, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that he's hallucinating his little abandoned girl. Together they travel to a different arctic base to send a signal to some astronauts not to come home, but to go back to a moon that is capable of sustaining life. Why does George need to travel to another base? So that he can turn in one of those Man vs Nature performances (think Leonardo di Caprio in THE REVENANT or Tom Hanks in CAST AWAY) that Oscar voters love. Except Clooney's performance is mediocre at best and the stakes really don't seem as grave as in THE REVENANT. There is no doubt he'll survive if only to connect with the astronauts. Also it really pissed me off that Clooney as director doesn't obey the rules of hallucinated little girls. If Clooney's character can't see her, we shouldn't be able to see her. Come on Clooney you should know this - you did star in that piss awful remake of SOLARIS!

By far the more interesting part of the film takes place on the spaceship that has discovered the new life-sustaining moon, per Clooney's predictions. It's staffed by David Oyelowo and Felicity Jones as a pregnant husband and wife research team as well as sidekicks like Kyle Chandler. His character exists to show the dilemma the scientists face upon hearing Clooney's news. Do you return home to try and find and admittedly die with your family? Or do you go to the new moon and try to "do better this time"? But even in this strand it all feels like stuff we've seen before, and the way in which space and moonwalks are photographed just cannot compete with superior films like GRAVITY and FIRST MAN.

The bottom line is that you would be better off watching any of the other movies that I have referenced in this review. 

THE MIDNIGHT SKY is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 118 minutes.

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