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Midnight Sky, The


Stars: George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Tiffany Boone, Demian Bichir, Caoilinn Springall

Director: George Clooney

It's the end of the world again. It's 2049 and Earth has become uninhabitable thanks to the 'apocalypse'. At an Arctic space observatory, the last survivors are preparing to leave for a life underground. Left behind is Dr Lofthouse (a heavily-bearded Clooney) who is dying from cancer and has decided to spend his last days there in case communication with a faraway spaceship becomes possible.

He's joined by a mysterious eight-year-old mute girl (Springall), who seems to have been forgotten in the chaotic exodus.

Meanwhile, the five space explorers, unaware of the cataclysmic disaster back home, are preparing to leave a green and pleasant Moon of Jupiter (a likely story), which may provide a habitable existence for the future. They include the captain (Oyelowo) and his tech genius lover (Jones).

The result is a poorly paced film, with some excitements amid the general slowness. Its characters remain bloodless and at a distance. Only Jones comes anywhere near creating an interesting character while, back at the Pole, Clooney and the moppet prove poor company.

So thank goodness for well-staged scenes in which Clooney and the girl are endangered by cracking ice in a blizzard (global warming has a lot to answer for), and where the astronauts have to attempt external repairs to their spacecraft in the middle of an asteroid storm.

David Quinlan

USA/Iceland/Ireland 2020. UK Distributor: Netflix. Colour (unspecified).
122 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 15 Dec 2020