REVIEW: Captain Fantastic

4 Star

“But, Dan, I haven’t seen any of the Dark Knight’s, Thor’s or Spider-Men movies.” Not my words, but the words of my mother, as I suggested we watch my latest Blu-ray purchase, Captain Fantastic.

Don’t worry; after her statement, I banished her to the kitchen to do what mum’s do best – sharing every single meme on Facebook that includes a picture of a minion.


Captain Fantastic follows the story of Ben, played by the – aptly – fantastic Viggo Mortensen, as he raises his six children to become survivors; hunting and gathering, totally isolated from the rest of the world. But when the kids’ mother passes, the seven of them travel to the outside world and Ben is tasked with working out what’s best for his kids. Like not confusing indie-flicks with a Captain America sequel. I’m not naming any names, Mum…

Imagine a movie version of Shia LaBeouf only drinking craft beers in Shoreditch. Then double it. That’s about as hipster as Captain Fantastic is, what with it’s unique plot-line and soundtrack. However, the story started off slow – the first act consists of children running around, doing push-ups on a cliff, and carving up animal carcasses. After the death of the children’s mother, the comedy starts to make an appearance (which I didn’t think would happen after death) and the pace of the movie ramped up.


Needless to say, following his Oscar-nomination, Viggo has a career high performance as the lead. While some of the supporting cast shine; including Ben’s children Bo and Rellian, portrayed by George MacKay and Nicholas Hamilton, respectively, a lot of the characters aren’t really padded out enough. The two younger children have the odd occasional line; but other than that four of Ben’s children are just, y’know, there. For a movie that’s so unusual, why not really go for it and give each character a completely bonkers personality? That’s not even rhetorical. I’m actually asking, Matt Ross. I know you read this.

When all’s said and done; it’s an enjoyable film to watch which ends in a funking good rendition of ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’. That’s a winner in itself for me. Plus, that one scene where Viggo Mortensen flies to the top of the Shard in London and uses his mutant powers to defeat evil… (Happy now, Mum? We’ll just let her have this one.)

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