So this week we started watching the film “Midnight Special“, in which a little boy goes on a fun road trip with his dad and his dad’s friend. Or something like that.
My wife was pretty dubious at first.
Wife: (peering at disc menu screen showing kid with glowing blue eyes) “What’s this? Is this a superhero movie?”
Me: “No, this about a man who takes his kid on the run from the government.”
Wife: “Oh. So I’m not going to like it?”
Me: “Well, it’s by the guy who made ‘Take Shelter’ and ‘Mud’. You liked those.”
Wife: (blank look)
Me: “‘Take Shelter’ was about the man who was afraid there would be a tornado, and ‘Mud’ was about a guy who lived in a boat that was up in a tree on an island in a river*. Remember?”
Now, “Midnight Special” explains absolutely nothing up front, and aside from previously noted I didn’t explain much about it either, so my was justifiably baffled by what, exactly, was going on, though she did note one thing:
Wife: “They need a better disguise for that kid than those goggles.”
Me: “The goggles aren’t a disguise. They’re functional.”
Wife: “Oh, you mean he’s like that guy?”
Me: (pause) “Cyclops?”
Wife: “No, that guy! You know, the one with the goggles? On the red planet? With the things coming out of the sand?”
Me: (another pause) “Riddick?”
Wife: “Yes! Riddick. And good job figuring that out from not very much information, by the way.”
Me: “Thanks. I don’t think the kid is too much like Riddick, though.”
Wife: “Except for the goggles.”
Of course, before long the goggles come off, and as it turns out, they do kind of function more like Cyclops’s goggles than Riddick’s. Kind of. But not exactly. But is it a superhero movie? No. Well, maybe, in the same way that “Monsters” was a Kaiju movie. Which is really another way of saying “no”. Anyway, “Midnight Special” put my wife to sleep in about 50 minutes — not up there with “The Professional“, “Pitch Black”, or early episodes of “Jessica Jones“, but still, pretty impressive for something science-fictiony-ish.
Must’ve been the goggles.
*These are gross but not inaccurate oversimplifications.