Directed and starring George Clooney, The Midnight Sky is based on the 2016 novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Augustine Lofthouse is a scientist who, 30 years earlier, recognised that at some point Earth would become inhabitable. It was then that he found a distant moon of Jupiter, called K-23, that he believed had all of the right conditions to sustain human life.
Fast forward to 2049 and George Clooney is Lofthouse, fighting against the freezing elements of the Arctic at an outpost. All we are told, as the viewers, is that it is three weeks ‘after the event'. This unknown phenomenon clearly affects the air we breathe and has all but wiped out most of the Earth's population with powerful radiation.
Lofthouse then discovers a young girl who was accidentally left at the outpost so taking her under his wing they must make their way to a weather station further North. If they make it, they will be able to contact the five astronauts on board a spaceship that is returning from K-23. The crew has spent two years away from home, setting up a colony on the new moon but they have no idea that most of the earth is now destroyed and nobody is left.
And that just about sums up The Midnight Sky. Sure, there are smaller subplots and but the main crux is Lofthouse trying to save the five people on board so they can return to K-23 and keep the human race going. And there's quite a lot to like about the movie. George Clooney is excellent, as always, and Caoilinn Springall as little Iris is a gem providing an innocence and some light to Clooney's dark and gruff character.
The crew made up of Felicity Jones (The Aeronauts), David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Tiffany Boone and Demián Bichir provide an optimism and normality against the bleak backdrop of the blizzards and destruction on earth. But despite a spectacularly realistic setting (filmed in Iceland) and the use of top-notch special effects, the story is overall, a little boring.
The Midnight Sky isn't so much a sci-fi movie as it is one man's last journey to do something right before time runs out. So from that perspective, Clooney does his job very well. But for a movie that runs close to two hours, not a lot actually happens. It's a mish-mash of a lot of sci-fi and lone wolf movies that have gone before it without actually adding anything new to the mix. Looks great but there isn't much beneath the surface. If you like the genre, check out The Wandering Earth.