At times beautiful to look at, but rather lame overall.
The 2010s were a decade that revived a fascinating genre to a mainstream audience with class: science-fiction. And, thankfully and finally, the one to stress the science above the fiction, so no action or fantasy nonsense but realistic films about astronauts, space travel and such. Films like Gravity, Interstellar or The Martian brought artistic and commercial success and reminded me of the heights of SF and cosmic movies in the 1970s. As with any boom, it had to come to an end.
In two years, we had 3 quite similar films come to screen which could have made hits but didn't: Ad Astra, High Life and The Midnight Sky. Each of them has merit, they're not failures. Still, in contrast to the aforementioned movies, they won't gratify a wider audience; I'm afraid none of them turned out to be the most entertaining movies.
The Midnight Sky has some fantastic looks (can't get enough from the views from K-43!) but falls flat on a narrative level. George Clooney hasn't got too much to say and his film doesn't evoke the thoughts or emotions he possibly aimed for. Many of the space scenes look brilliant - the Arctic ones are less thrilling - while the most exciting sequence borrows from Gravity, only less impactful. Then why don't stick to the original or Sunshine?
It's also a bit frustrating that we don't learn more about the catastrophe which hit earth. Not that I expected a Roland Emmerich film, but man, this is interesting. Your
predictable "the girl isn't real - ah, it's his daughter!" twist isn't.