Mute: Part Two of the “Moon-iverse”- Spoiler Free Review
Moon is one of my favorite movies of all time, if you listen to the podcast; you probably know this by now. Before I continue in this story, let’s rewind to the year 2009.
I was 20 years old, a sophomore in college who was really starting to get into Sci-Fi. I would listen to suggestions from friends, and would always be searching on my own for the next Sci-Fi movie or TV Show to watch. Then I saw a trailer for this movie about some dude who has been working on the moon for 3 years, and is only 2 weeks away from getting relieved. To say the least, my curiosity was sparked- I had to watch this movie…so I did.
Moon then proceeded to open my eyes to a whole new genre, and has led the charge for my love of “space shit”. The feel of the movie, the performance by Sam Rockwell, the beautiful score composed by Clint Mansell, and the overall story from Writer/ Director Duncan Jones had all combined together to give me Moon. I haven’t stopped talking about it for almost 10 years now.
*Fast Forward to 2018*
Nowadays, I’m typically first in line for any Sci-Fi movie to hit the theatres, or I’m streaming it day 1 if it goes straight to Netflix, and I credit most of this love to Duncan Jones, and his work on Moon. Then, I heard Duncan Jones was going to make Moon a spiritual trilogy of sorts, and I almost shit my pants on the spot from excitement. Enter the sequel, Mute.
As if I couldn’t get any more excited, I then see the casting of Justin Theroux, who was currently starring in my new favorite show at the time, The Leftovers. Basically at this point, I’m half-mast 7 days a week, counting down the days until Mute came out on Netflix.
All jokes aside, I feel like Justin Theroux is one of the most talented people around Hollywood today. Most people don’t realize that he is a triple threat. He wrote the screenplay for Tropic Thunder and Iron Man 2, then casually gives my favorite TV acting performance since Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad, with his work in The Leftovers. Did I say triple threat? I did, just listen to his rendition of “Homeward Bound” in the season 2 finale of The Leftovers if you need more convincing, it is goddam heartbreaking. The man is talented as fuck. Add in Paul Rudd and Alexander Skarsgård, and we are rolling people.
Mute: My Thoughts (Spoiler Free)
Honestly, it pains me to say this, but Mute wasn’t what I was hoping it would be. Before I go further, I also think that the amount of hate it is getting from critics is absolute bullshit. There is not a scenario or argument around that can convince me this movie deserves a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Room has 26% for reference, and I know people “loved” The Room, but it’s not a better movie than Mute ( EDIT: Best F(r)iends looks pretty dope though, I’ll post the trailer at the end of the blog).
I do really believe that Mute did have some positives; it had wonderful world building, beautiful sets, another amazing score from Clint Mansell, and some truly strong performances. I was particularly impressed with Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux’s performances. Let’s focus on Paul Rudd though. I have never seen him in that light before, and he really pulled it off. Without giving away too much, Rudd plays a disturbed Surgeon, who rapidly loses his charm and humor in place of pure psychotic rage as the movie progresses. I also LOVED the twist, or revelation at the end of the film, whatever you want to call it.
What hurt this movie for me was the pacing, and I never bought the relationship between Skarsgård’s Leo and Seyneb Saleh’s Naadirah. Not buying this relationship is a major problem for Mute, because Leo’s entire motivation during this film was to find her. All in all, it could have been better, but wasn’t as bad as most people are saying. Official Scene Invaders score –> 6/10.
Easter Eggs/ Connections to Moon:
Sam Bell’s court case is shown 3 separate times throughout the movie, which is where the connection lies to Moon. The only problem here for me, as such a big fan of Moon, is that I wish I would have seen more here. I want more of Sam Rockwell playing Sam Bell. He just did such a natural job playing Bell, which has catapulted Rockwell into my list of must-see actors, whenever I hear of a new role. I need more Sam Bell.
Lunar Industries, the company responsible for providing Earth with 70% of its fuel, is visible on the TV during the courtroom case. The company logo is also fittingly shown at one of their gas stations towards the end of the movie.
This last one is not a connection to Moon, but I found it pretty funny. Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux’s characters were based off of the MASH characters, Trapper and Hawkeye. I was never a “fan” of MASH, but have seen a lot of the episodes from my Dad watching it on the couch when I was growing up. But this specific reference is from the MASH movie, just with Trapper and Hawkeye being irredeemable psychopaths in their own unique ways. Random homage, Duncan, and I respect it. Check out the striking resemblance.
What will happen to this “Moon-iverse”, as Duncan Jones has called it? Well, hopefully with the release of the third film in the trilogy (which is reportedly already written and ready to go). I certainly hope he powers through the negative reviews and completes this trilogy. I do have two requests, however, to Mr. Jones surrounding the third film.
- Cast Sam Rockwell again so we can see what happened to Sam Bell, and 156 of his closest clone friends.
- Name the movie a 4 letter M-word, with 2 vowels. This request seems to go without saying.
In all seriousness, thank you Duncan Jones for the work you have done. I am excited to watch whatever project you come out with next.
Dan of Scene Invaders
Bonus Trailer that has nothing to do with Mute- because I lost my train of thought and promised I would put it at the end.
Pretty dope though right?
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