Think of Mud immersed in a bit of science fiction.
Writer Director Jeff Nichols follows up his splendid Mud (2012) with another interesting film, Midnight Special. In a sense, it turns E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982) on its head in that you have a parent’s young son wanting to “go home”.
The film follows the alleged kidnapping of a 10-year old boy (Jaeden Lieberher) by his own father from a strange cult led by a mysterious character played by Sam Shepard. As the police engaged in a massive manhunt for dad, played once again in a mystic fashion by Michael Shannon, and his State Trooper friend (Joel Edgerton), dad intends on taking his son to some unknown location to meet a deadline. Along the way they team up with the lad’s mother, played quietly by Kirsten Dunst, and they face violence at every turn from the pursuing authorities.
Shannon’s son has to wear goggles during daylight, as beams flash from his eyes in a manner that can destroy anyone or anything standing near him. While Shannon and Dunst clearly have a passionate love for their son, you journey with them with a sense that everyone will have to sadly wave goodbye in the end.