In a world of endless reboots and sequels, I was beginning to lose hope in the idea of an original movie. Well, I just saw Threat Level Midnight, and boy did it make me believe again. In his directorial debut, Michael Scott crafts a stunning and incredibly well-written film that is rivaled by no other that I've seen in a long time.
From a visual standpoint, Threat Level Midnight looks almost too good to be a directorial debut. I was genuinely shocked when Scott's name popped up in the credits. I wouldn't be surprised if this film takes home the Oscar for best cinematography.
However, a film needs a good script, and that is absolutely where Threat Level Midnight shines. With twists and turns around every corner, this unpredictable thrill ride of a film provides the audience with some of the greatest action sequences of all time (including a brilliantly executed and staged ice-skating shootout sequence).
What is even more impressive to me is that while Scott is directing, he also is starring as reluctant hero Michael Scarn in one of the most raw and visceral performances I've ever scene. A lot of films these days rely on huge VFX sequences to drive the plot forward, but Threat Level Midnight, at its core, is an incredibly character focused film with multiple emotional struggles, including getting over the death of a loved one, leaving your comfort zone for the greater good, and showing how villains can be just as sympathetic as the protagonist.
Some highlights of the film are: Mind-blowing visual effects (especially a certain head explosion, but I'll say no more), Creed Bratton's incredibly subtle performance as Cherokee Jack, An underrated Ryan Howard performance, the breathtaking opening action sequence, and of course, The Scarn, a very fun scene which adds some lightheartedness to an otherwise extremely serious film
Overall, I just want to say thank you, Michael Scott, for making every moviegoer's dreams come true. If someday you ever read this, which I know is unlikely, I just want you to know that you inspired me to create my own films and show them to the world. It's always incredibly refreshing to see a new filmmaker come out of the gate like this. I look forward to any future Michael Scott films and I can only hope that they maintain the same level of dedication that was so crucial in making this film. 10/10. If I could rate it higher I would.