The Midnight Man full movie review - The Midnight Man: an excellent movie that deserves wide exposure
The Midnight Man is a movie that I accidentally stumbled upon, without any previous reference and without ever having heard about it before.
I watched it with barely any expectations of what it would be about, but it certainly took me by surprise when it forcefully grabbed me and dragged me into its imaginative storyline, right from the beginning.
From the very start, this adorable and humorous crime movie picks up a steady pace that it maintains until its very last scene, and that has you constantly wondering what will come next. When I was done watching, I had enjoyed it so much that I just had to go and find out more about it, and that's when I was in for a few more surprises.
I had not expected this to be the work of independent movie makers with a limited budget. I watch movies frequently, and I am able to appreciate the art of independent movie producers just as readily as that of high-end blockbusters.
I think that what we are dealing with here, first and foremost, is a combination of excellent writing, directing, and acting. The unique amalgam of these talents that is presented in this movie manages to keep the focus of the viewer on the storyline, in a way that cleverly distracts your attention from any setbacks that might be caused by budget limitations or lack of resources. It is pure talent and brilliance, in my opinion, to be able to make a film that way, and to do it so successfully.
I discovered that much of what we are seeing and experiencing is depending on the talents of Brinna Kelly, who plays the secondary lead role in the movie, or the 'co-lead', if you like. As it turns out, her contribution to this film goes far beyond that, as she is also the (co-)writer of the story, and the producer. Since, in my opinion, the storyline with its witty (sometimes hilarious) dialogs is such a major factor in the excellence of this flick, I believe that her contribution to its effectiveness must have been of cardinal significance. She skillfully and elegantly plays a surprising, fascinating, and somewhat hard-to-fathom character named 'Zan' in this film, providing an excellent balance against the role of the lead character, Grady, charismatically played by the British actor Will Kemp.
I think that Grady was actually done so well, that another story could be written around his character, as a sequel to this film. I probably feel this way mostly as a result of Kemp's excellent acting, but it must also be a matter of good writing, and good casting. He manages to remain believable throughout the movie, provided that the viewer is tuned in to the subtly sarcastic sense of humor that permeates this movie from beginning to end. The humor has a distinctly British feel to it, while the movie itself has more of an American air and style. It may well be that the 'Britishness' is Kemp's own effect on the script. That said, the tongue-in-cheek dialogs are absolutely delightful, and contribute strongly to the attractiveness of the entire movie. When it comes to the acting in this film, Will Kemp 'makes' it; Brinna Kelly adds the magic.
D.C. Hamilton is the director and co-writer of this movie, and apparently has a background in TV production and editing mostly. His previous work with Brinna Kelly was on a short movie called 'The Midnight Monster', which I have not yet had the pleasure to watch. When I found this title, I was amused by the fact that apparently, an allusion to that movie is being made in 'The Midnight Man'. Given the pivotal importance of the director in making a good script come to life, D.C. Hamilton undoubtedly deserves a huge portion of the credit. It certainly looks like the Hamilton-Kelly combination forms the basis of a powerful team with a promising potential for putting out superb works of art.
Although I believe that all actors were excellently cast, and did a wonderful job, two of them specifically deserve to be highlighted here. Doug Jones plays a bone-chilling role as 'torture-expert' Vick, and William Forsythe impresses as the intimidating villain Fairbanks. Both these talented actors shine brightly, effortlessly immersed in their roles, as true veterans of the film industry.
Last but not least, I think the movie score plays an important role in giving this movie that 'big feel'. It helps set the right mood, is never too prominent or pushy, and is woven seamlessly into the fabric of the storyline, the dialogue, and the action scenes.
I think that The Midnight Man suffers only from one thing, and that's simply: not enough people seeing it. I watched it again, shortly after having seen it for the first time, and this time with the pause button under my finger. Truth be told, I was now able to see how and where a bigger budget would have been able to lift this movie to even higher levels, even though none of this had even come to my mind when I watched it the first time around.
Nevertheless, this doesn't take away anything from the credit that these talented filmmakers deserve for what they proved to be able to create with what was available to them. On the contrary; it underlines even more that we are dealing with people of true artistic talent, who are inevitably going to make a serious impact in the movie world if they keep putting out such wonderful labors of love.
Bottom line: watch The Midnight Man, and invite others to watch it. Take my word for it, you will enjoy it. Then, join me in looking out for this awesome team's next work.