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Is Midnight Special a reaction to superhero films?

Photo: Warner Bros.

Midnight Special was a pretty big hit with critics, and audiences enjoyed it as well, but it wasn’t a big blockbuster that kicked off the summer season. Director Jeff Nichols’ film about a boy with special powers and the organizations out to harness those abilities was both an original sci-fi story while also feeling like a throwback to ’80s adventure films. And while the film deals with many themes, including power, responsibility, and family, perhaps it’s also a refutation of a certain type of film itself.

YouTube user Digging Deeper made this video, which posits that Midnight Special is a reaction to superhero movies—particularly the wholesale destruction often included in those films. Digging Deeper also says the film is a meditation on creativity, that Nichols’ tale is meant to both reference and eschew a lot of the tropes of a comic-book film, while imploring his fellow artists (especially filmmakers) to go in a less destructive direction. Instead, like the boy at the center of the film, filmmakers are meant to be the conduits through which audiences are exposed to something new, different, and possibly awe-inspiring. Is Digging Deeper reading too much into the parallels with comic book tropes, or has he found, in Midnight Special, the appropriate response to the lackluster efforts of Man Of Steel and Avengers: Age Of Ultron?


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