Captain Fantastic

2016 movie

Rating: 15/20

Plot: A family lives off the grid, but their lifestyle is threatened when Mom dies.

Here's the companion piece to Dogtooth that you never thought you'd be looking for. Whereas that movie deals with children who are sheltered and burdened by ignorance, this one takes an opposite approach while still giving us young characters who are sheltered and burdened by a certain kind of ignorance. Weirdly, the movies almost enhance each other even though they weren't made to do that and have nothing to do with each other.

Whatever this movie has to say, it says it a little obviously. I'm not sure if that's a problem or not, but it likely could have made the movie a little shorter.

Viggo Mortensen is really good at creating an immensely flawed and conflicted character. There are passions, and there's an obvious love for his family that never needs to be talked about. Mortensen's got the type of eyes that make him perfect for one of two things--acting or serial killing. And, if you're interested, his penis--little Viggo--makes a cameo appearance here, leading to what is probably my favorite line ("It's just a penis") which he delivers perfectly.

Even better might be the cast of children. Child actors are tricky, especially when you've got this many of them. Every single one of these six children is just about perfect.

This movie is frequently funny, but it's bittersweet. There's also some room for a little social criticism. There's a depth to the movie that I like though I really wish it would have dug a little more. It probably kept a really good movie from being a great movie. Still, I'd probably watch this again.

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