This is a review of the film ‘Mute’ starring Alexsander Skarsgard and Paul Rudd. None of my reviews contain spoilers and only broad comments on the plot of a film.
Moon, directed by Dylan Jones in 2009 is one of my favourite sci-fi films, so I was really keen to watch Mute and see if the director could keep up the high quality.
Mute is set in a dystopian Berlin of the future, looking in places like Bladerunner or the more recent Altered Carbon. It tells the story of Leo, played by Skarsgard, a mute Amish bartender who is in love with Naadirah, a waitress in the same nightclub.
After Naadirah goes missing, Leo goes on a mission to find and rescue her. This brings him into contact with a variety of underworld gangsters, pimps and prostitutes – including a pair of mercenary doctors, Cactus and Duck, played by Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux, one of whom seems to be particularly deviant. They spend much of their time acting like bad guys, bowling and watching girls, in between fixing up gangsters with random wounds.
The story dials back the cyberpunk setting, and focuses on the bizarre and unsettling characters – and I found the story a little bit confusing along the way. The central story is workable, but some of the side stories (the doctors, the gangsters, a vintage car) just seem unfinished and almost incidental.
I really liked the look of the film, and particularly enjoyed some of the future technology which felt like it was properly thought through. Instantaneous translation, drone delivery of food that tracks cell phones and medical advances, that even when used for ill, seemed to make sense. Of course, any futuristic Berlin is going to have flying cars and giant holographic advertising – but keeping the personal tech within the realms of possibility made Mute feel sensible.
Overall, the movie could do with about 20 minutes taken out of it and a more focused approach to the central story, which despite the weird Amish thing, was actually an engaging plotline. I was a bit disappointed that the promise of Moon was not followed up here, or in the other Dylan Jones movies.
Overall. 6/10. IMDb