The Joxer Film Review of Mute..
Written and directed by Duncan Jones and starring Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux and Seyneb Saleh, Mute is a futuristic, sci-fi crime thriller set in 2052.
Young Leo is hurt in a boating incident that leaves him with a damaged vocal box and unable to speak. Years later we find Amish man Leo [Skarsgard] working in a cocktail bar in a futuristic Berlin, where man and machine have become intertwined and where the Amish community have migrated to Europe. Here he finds love in the form of Naadirah who has a secret or two that she wants to share with Leo but who vanishes before she can she do so..
In the meantime, two US surgeons [Rudd and Theroux] are doing back street surgery for the seedy underbelly of criminal gangs of Berlin whilst Cactus [Rudd] tries to arrange passports and travel out of the militia controlled Germany for himself and his daughter.
Why is Cactus trying to flee the country and what does this all have to do with Leo, who is only searching for his missing girlfriend..?
This brooding, futuristic Dystopian crime thriller could easily have come from the mind of Ridley Scott and the similarities of the scenery to this film and Bladerunner are blindingly obvious but even so, it doesn’t come across as cheap rip off but as a loving homage that tells it’s own story and in it’s own cinematic universe, a “Mooniverse” if you will, for this film is set in the same timeline as Duncan Jones’ wonderful Moon film and you need to pay very close attention to what is playing out on the tv screens throughout the film..
Skarsgard oozes machismo as the silent stalker, letting his actions speak louder than words whilst Rudd and Theroux become sinister versions of Hawkeye and Trapper from the film version of M*A*S*H with Rudd as a doppelganger for Elliott Gould’s Hawkeye.
The sordid underbelly of society plays out for all to see as Leo searches for his girlfriend and leads him from one nasty piece of works to the next as he heads deeper into the depths of Berlin and the mood changes and twists along in a maze of mind-turns and corruption.
The background neo-scenery and Phillip Glass inspired soundtrack immerse themselves into this dystopian landscape and the slow-building film comes to a dramatic finale as all is revealed in a style of a modern day Swedish drama, with more plot twists than you can throw a meatball at.
Theroux excels in his role as Duck and you slowly and surely despise his character even more than you did a few minutes previously.
The dialogue,script and acting are all spot on and the mood is excellent but that feeling that Harrison Ford’s Deckard Bladerunner character is going to walk in the room any second is not far away from your mind.Luckily,Mute has just enough of it’s own savvy to keep ahead of it’s game and stands on it’s own two feet.
A worthy addition to the “Mooniverse”, this neon vision of the future holds it’s own on the screen and is worth a viewing.
UK viewers can also experience this in selected Curzon cinema’s where the full scale of the film will shine through.
For the rest of the mere mortals,Netflix is your option and shows once again that as a film producer Netflix are slowly but surely becoming a force to reckon with..
Joxer Film Rating