Duncan Jones' Mute is an abhorrent piece of filmmaking, a film in which its flaws are so vast and various, one cannot help but ponder what the pre-production process entailed. Mute feels like a first draft being a film thats premise intrigues initially, yet it quickly divulges in masturbatory world-building in which our character's journey feels inconsequential and uninteresting, lost in a film thats bloat serves little purpose, outside of giving Paul Rudd some scenery to chew. Blending cultures, creeds, theologies, and political ideologies, Mute takes place in a futuristic, globalized world; it's a rich, cyberpunk tapestry which is effectively empty, as the filmmakers do very little with it thematically. The formalism itself, as well as the underlying themes of this story are a discombobulated mess; as the film unnecessarily provides two dueling narratives that don't payoff. The main driving force of the story, centered around our mute protagonist intent on finding the love of his life who mysteriously disappeared, is bland and tepidly paced, while the other side-story, involving Paul Rudd's ex-military character starts off far more compelling before divulging into a caricature of sinister intentions. The treatment of Rudd's character towards the end of the film makes little sense, as the filmmakers effectively destroy everything they built with this complex, anti-hero type character throughout the film. He is a man whose off-kilter, yet he does what he does for the sake of his daughter; The finale betrays this characterization entirely, making all the complexities of his characterization superfluous, with this character serving no other purpose but one-dimensional protagonist by the time the credits roll. In what would amount to a good academic example of the many pitfalls a filmmaker can fall into when aiming for high-concept filmmaking with no checks & balances (I assume), Mute is interesting, but otherwise this is just the latest Netflix film that is dead on arrival.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.