Mute (2018)

Name: Mute
Year: 2018
Country: UK, Germany
Director: Duncan Jones
Main cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux
Runtime: 126 minutes
Production company: Liberty Films UK, Studio Babelsberg


It has been said that Duncan Jones has had the idea and concept for Mute (2018) in his head for around 16 years. This, coming from the filmmaker that brought us two very interesting science fiction titles like Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011) –and a very forgettable Warcraft: The Beginning (2016) – was so far something promising. At least, I was very excited counting the days for Netflix to finally release the film.

That said, I can do nothing but to admit in defeat that Mute (2018) is very disappointing. It feels like it really has nothing to deliver, no story to tell. Called by Jones himself “some sort of Blade Runner (1982) sequel”, the expectations to witness a science fiction epic were high. But, in the end, the aesthetically astonishing futuristic disguise wore by the city of Berlin stays as an anecdote, for the movie is merely a drama thriller that could be set anywhere in time. The work of production design and set decoration is sublime, there is no doubt in that, the problem is that effort is not at the service of the plot, it remains only as a mask that is soon removed in the movie’s running time.

The movie follows the days of a mute bartender against his all sorts of gangsters trying to find out what happened to his girlfriend, played by Seyneb Saleh. The mysterious girl of his dreams was full of secrets and inner dramas that she never shared with his beloved mute loverboy. So once she is suddenly missing, the barman played by Alexander Skarsgård breaks hell loose. Perhaps the most interesting thing of the movie is the performance of Skarsgård in some sort of herculean brutal force of nature, with the aura of an indestructible tortured soul, razing everybody who gets on his way. A curious new form of action hero that reminds somehow of John Wick and alike. Also fair to highlight the two bad guys of the movie, played by Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux who imprint in their role a good mix of nastiness and fellowship. So it has to be the trio of stars who have to show off a little bit of personality to salvage the movie because Duncan Jones seems to be unable to do it.

The script is mostly silly and ridiculous, that accompanied by a mediocre edition and the over 2 hours of the movie running time makes Mute (2018) a pretty boring one to watch. At moments it feels like a beautiful looking Z-movie flick, where nobody is really sure of what they are doing, nor the actors or the director. The story drifts so much that the different plot twists become mere anecdotes since the audience has been already disconnected from the action.

All these words might seem rough and severe, but one can’t stop having the feeling Mute (2018) might have the potential for being a much better movie than it actually is, but somewhere on the way the magic got lost. Duncan Jones has proved with his first 2 feature titles that he can be a very competent filmmaker with a good sense of entertainment to keep the watchers glued to their chairs. But what happened with Mute (2018)? Perhaps the project took too long to get materialized, and the freshness and initial charm was gone. But hey, if you are a Netflix user, I encourage you to give it a try. After all you already paid for it with your monthly rate, right?

RATE: 5/10


Share this post:   Facebooktwitterpinterestmail