The ﬁlm concerns a young boy named Alton (Jaden Lieberher) who has been kidnapped from a religious cult group whose name I don’t immediately remember but it doesn’t really matter anyway so I’ll be as dismissive of them as the ﬁlm is. Turns out his kidnapper is his father (Michael Shannon), that’s not a spoiler it happens early, and the boy has mysterious powers that have caused the cult to view him as some kind of messiah.
A chase movie occurs with Alton, his father, his fathers friend (Joel Edgerton) and eventually his mother (Kirsten Dunst) because the movie suddenly realised it needed a woman in it, trying to outrun the military, an NSA analyst (Adam Driver), and the cult who want them back so they will be spared the judgement. Unfortunately it’s not entirely clear why any of this matters. The cult are arguably the most interesting angle but they get unceremoniously thrown away after the military rounds them all up in the ﬁrst ten minutes and besides a couple of reluctant hitmen they’ve sent out to track Alton they never reappear again and even those two don’t affect the third act in any signiﬁcant way.
So the tension of the chase never quite kicks in and there’s a lot of superﬂuous characters cluttering up the story but the mystery is engaging and the climax, whilst not answering all our questions, does feel satisfying within the relative small scale of the characters world.
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