Mute is the fourth feature film from Doug Jones (Moon, Source Code and Warcraft) it tells the story of Leo (Alexander Skarsgard), a man who at a young age was involved in an accident rendering him speechless, Leo is a bartender who finds love in a mysterious women Naadiran (Seyneb Saleh). When Naadiran goes missing after a night together Leo sets off on a path to find where and what has happened to her.
Jones vision of the future seems familiar to fans of the genre of Futuristic Dystopia, with Blade Runner 2049 and Altered Carbon fresh in the minds of viewers, Mute feels a lesser version of these. The CGI lets the long shots of the Futuristic landscape of Berlin, Germany down, the set pieces mix both future tech with old fashioned European architecture which works in the movies favor, allowing a break from the normal ideas of a futuristic cityscapes.
Skarsgard’s performance is a challenging one, going through the movie without making a sound and not a lot of sign language,it challengers Skarsgard with acting with an emotional physicality with this role. Through the first hour of the Mute there seems to be two stories working side by side which at times feels confusing and muddling, only after the first hour does the two stories start to entwined and both Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux’s characters Cactus Bill and Duck start to integrate with Leo. The performances from the three lead males are good especially Skarsgard who has a real physicality and presence on screen, Rudd brings a new side to his performance with a seriousness and quirky character in Cactus, Theroux’s performance stands out due to his softness but wickedness of his character Duck.
Overall Mute has some good ideas and concepts and tells the basic story of lost love in a futuristic world, but the story feels contained in this world. Performances are good but the poor construction of the first part of the movie makes it difficult to connect with the characters and the story only picks up once the characters are brought together.