Julien Neaves, Editor
Hey RedMangoReaders. So I’ve been sitting on my review of Netflix’s 2020 Sci Fi drama The Midnight Sky for a while now and that egg has finally hatched. So here we go, beware some mild spoilers.
The film is based on the 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight” by Lily Brooks-Dalton and stars George Clooney as a scientist in the year 2049 who travels to the Arctic Circle to warn a returning spaceship of a global catastrophe. Clooney also served as director.
The Midnight Sky feels like two separate Sci Fi movies in one, and only one of them is any good. There is the first story of Clooney as the obsessive, world-weary scientist Augustine Lofthouse. As everyone is escaping the doomed Earth from an Arctic base he decides to remain as he has a terminal illness and the weight of his regrets. But he finds purpose when he discovers the returning craft Aether and a quiet little girl named Iris who was apparently left behind. The duo then traverse the dangerous Arctic Circle to reach an antenna that can contact the ship.
This aspect of the film I enjoyed. Clooney is usually a very dependable actor and he gives a strong performance as Lofthouse. He also has lovely chemistry with young actress Caoilinn Springall as Iris. Their adventure has a couple of thrilling moments which are one of the highlights of the film together with some pretty sweet cinematography. There are also some flashbacks of young Lofthouse (played by Ethan Peck of Star Trek: Discovery) which add some background but in themselves are nothing special.
And speaking of nothing special, the journey of the Aether crew — the second “movie” I mentioned — is most generic. Sure you have a talented cast including Felicity Jones (Rogue One, The Theory of Everything), David Oyelowo (Selma, A United Kingdom) and David Chandler (Early Edition, Godzilla: King of Monsters) but they can do little with their paper-thin characters. And the ship scenes were just kind of dull as nothing much happens. Even when something does happen it’s nothing we haven’t seen before from these types of movies. The only highlight was some gorgeous visuals on an alien planet but these are just a quick flashback.
There is also a twist which I partly saw coming but it is not strong enough to truly redeem this uneven film. If you have some time to kill and are jonesing for some Sci Fi then you can check out The Midnight Sky. But if you miss it then you really aren’t missing that much.
Julien’s Score: 5.5 out of 10
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”.
I can also be found posting on Instagram as redmanwriter and talking about TV and movie stuff on Facebook at Movieville.