Title – Mojave (2015)
Director – William Monahan (London Boulevard)
Cast – Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Mark Wahlberg, Walton Goggins, Louise Bourgoin
Plot – Suicidal Hollywood player Tom (Hedlund) heads on an unplanned trip into the heart of the Mojave Desert where he stumbles across violent drifter Jack (Isaac), setting in motion a battle between the two men that will follow Tom home to the streets of Los Angeles.
“When you get what you want…..what do you want?”
Review by Eddie on 13/07/2016
Random is a term that gets bandied about quite a bit in this day and age but it’s certainly the perfect word to describe The Departed and Kingdom of Heaven scribe William Monahan’s second directional effort Mojave, a film that feels lost in its own self-worth and finds itself wondering along aimlessly through its 90 minute runtime to a conclusion that neither justifies or explains why we’ve been mistreated to this wannabe exposition of fame, internal demons and hamming it up Mark Wahlberg’s.
It’s particularly random that Monaghan convinced one of the industry’s current brightest stars in the form of Oscar Isaac to appear in this deranged cautionary tale and after a string of memorable films in the likes of A Most Violent Year and the excellent Ex_Machina, this is Isaacs first outright failure in sometime even though he certainly gives it his all as the menacing drifter Jack who haunts Garrett Hedlund’s lead Tom from the dry plains to the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles.
There was clearly hope here that Monahan could hide the implausibility’s of his story that never delivers a realistic blow behind the one/two team up of Isaac and Hedlund going head to head and saying “brother” far too often but with Isaac relegated to a few brief moments of genuine menace and intrigue Hedlund’s Hollywood big shot is a hard protagonist to get on board with and it’s another lacking turn from the young actor that showed such great promise in early ventures like Friday Night Lights and Troy.
The problem found within this central battle of Mojave isn’t its only huge hurdle as the film also suffers from an identity crisis not unlike the one Hedlund’s Tom is suffering within the narrative. Is the film a sombre examination of tormented artists? A dark comedy skewering the Hollywood lifestyle? There questions Monahan and his team no doubt pondered but didn’t have the skill set to answer and the films blurred vision is something that will deter many a viewer from enjoying what’s laid before them.
An extremely disappointing experience that wastes the considerable talents of Isaac in a try hard plot that wants to say a lot and ends up saying nothing, Mojave is an utterly forgettable film that no one deserves to be put through and a career low point for the usually trustworthy Monahan.
1 “brother” out of 5