Title – Mute (2018)
Director – Duncan Jones (Warcraft)
Cast – Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, Seyneb Saleh, Justin Theroux
Plot – Forty years in the future, Berlin resident and Amish mute Leo (Skarsgård) goes on a search for his missing girlfriend Naadirah (Saleh) after she mysteriously disappears.
“He doesn’t need words”
Review by Eddie on 27/02/2018
In 2009 Duncan Jones released his debut film Moon. Moon was very good. Jones becomes a name to lookout for.
In 2016 Duncan Jones released his long-gestating and troubled Warcraft adaptation, Warcraft was not very good and Jones finds himself with question marks hanging over his head.
In February of 2018 Jones sees Netflix release his much-talked about new sci-fi Mute, a film that was spoken about as far back as Moon’s 2009 release. Mute is sadly not good, in fact, Mute is so downright terrible and misguided, Jones’s success with Moon is well and truly looking like a case of lightning only striking once for a filmmaker who seemed destined for great things.
A personal film for Jones who dedicates the film to his late father David Bowie and his beloved nanny Marion Skene, it’s hard to even know where to start when it comes to talking about how and why Mute is the mess it is but most tellingly and disappointingly is the fact that it stems from Jones as the writer and director of the project.
After the extreme disappointment and letdown of The Cloverfield Paradox, Netflix would’ve been banking on Jones’s supposed sci-fi/detective opus to showcase their wares as the distributer of fresh and exciting feature film content but Jones sometimes pretty yet mostly lifeless futuristic experience that coexists in the same universe of Moon is another original content failure by the streaming giant that makes one question the companies quality control measures.
From the get-go something amiss seems to be afoot with Jones’s film as we’re introduced to Alexander Skarsgård’s charisma free mute Amish lead Leo and his blue-haired girlfriend Naadirah and from the films odd and non-engaging opening things only get worse as this sci-fi/mystery begins to deviate frequently into a mess of ideas and components, none of which cohesively stick to make Jones’s clunky narrative stick.
Quite clearly inspired by the atheistic and world-building of sci-fi kingpin Blade Runner and other such futuristic noir’s, Mute’s two hour runtime is wasted on a collection of unlikeable and uninspired creations such as Paul Rudd’s mutton chop sporting American doctor Cactus and ex-Mr Jennifer Aniston Justin Theroux as Cactus’s creepy doctor friend Duck as Jones loses any chance of making his future version of Berlin a winner in a film that instead fails to capitalize on its potential to focus on a sleep-inducing plotline that could’ve been set at any time and place and makes its sci-fi roots almost entirely irrelevant.
It’s filmmaking at its most uninspired and cold, Jones showing none of the skill he delivered in Moon and to a lesser extent Source Code, while Mute’s dire and often clunky script work makes you wonder if the filmmaker is far better off sticking to working on scripts written by others rather than ones written out of the goodness of his own heart and imagination.
Final Say –
Living up to its namesake, Mute has nothing of interest to say. With a confusing and pointless plot line, lifeless characters and a seemingly intriguing world that’s largely ignored, Duncan Jones has delivered what will be one of 2018’s most bitterly disappointing experiences and easily one of the year’s worst films.
½ a makeup clad Hobbit out of 5