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Jerzy Bondov

Mute (2018)

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Long time listener, first time poster. It is with a heavy-heart that I nominate the new Netflix film by Duncan Jones for the HDTGM treatment. On the one hand, here is a talented, young director, with an amazing film ("Moon") under his belt. Further, the noir-ish atmosphere that Jones creates with "Mute," reflects substantial effort here. That said, I (and apparently most other critics) found major problems with this film. In terms of HDTGM treatment, I think a few elements that the crew might be able to emphasize include the following:


1. Paul Rudd -- are we supposed to like him, or hate him (clearly "hate him" by the end, but I really don't think this was clear for most of the movie). In general, Rudd is super-smart, talented, and he's shown range from the "Wet Hot" films to the "Shape of Things," and (a personal favorite) "Our Idiot Brother." True, he wears that mustache well (reminded me of Lee Marvin in "Paint Your Wagon"), but I think the failure to establish a tone for his character is worthy of satire.


2. For the character that I'm calling, "Not Will Forte" -- Rudd's surgeon buddy -- a key ridiculous development occurs when Rudd aggressively confronts him about suspected improprieties and then, in the next scene, they're racing in a traffic tunnel and hanging out at the mall. WTF?!


3. Paul Rudd steals nuts, insults security guard. Frankly, on the one hand, if this vignette were simply an absurdist sketch in the middle of SNL -- it works great. However, in this film, it simply makes no sense.


4. Finally, the comment that "not Will Forte" makes to the mute at the end of the film ("I cut her . .. ") -- is so over-the-top, and frankly unnecessary, but also (in hindsight) completely and laughably ridiculous. Ultimately, I suspect it could give rise to a new type of HDTGM swag, although sadly, I suspect this product already exists (I refuse to "Google" the phrase to find out).


So, HDTGM community -- what do you think? Is there enough "there, there" in this film? Is it time to honor a Netflix film with a review by the gang?

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I had high hopes for this too as it appeared to want to be a semi-Blade Runner-esque thriller, but in the end it only looked like one. The trailer made it seem that there was some deep, dark secret about the lead character, or that he had some military/criminal background, which made him a foreboding force in trying to find his girlfriend, but all he is is a mute Amish bartender. I do feel if they just focused on his story arc, it would have been a decent movie, but they tried to make that story and Paul Rudd's interwoven that it just fell incredibly flat.


I have to believe that they were trying to make Rudd's character come off as bipolar, because his mood swings are so 180 of each other it's insane. When Justin Theroux is not so subtly saying he's a pedophile or making a pass at Rudd's daughter, Rudd almost severely injures him or flat out kills him, but then as you said, a moment later they are BFFs again. It also doesn't help that Rudd's overall connection to the A-story is revealed midway into the movie apparently, but it is glossed over so quickly you don't realize it until the end. I had the wikipedia up for the movie to suss out things that were confusing and that's how I found out I missed it. I did like the role change for Rudd and felt he would be good in more roles like that, just he need's to pick one mood and stick with it for it to really work.

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