Mute

mute.jpgFor me, the most memorable scene in Mute was a few-second long callback to director Duncan Jones’ debut, a marvelous little movie called Moon, starring Sam Rockwell, that you should track down immediately if you haven’t seen it yet.  Apparently, Mute is intended to be the second entry in a very loose trilogy, an approach that Netflix seems to be very keen on at the moment (as evidenced by The Cloverfield Paradox along with Mute).  Come to think of it, we saw this same thing happen with Split not so long ago, where two movies really have nothing to do with one another except that they happen in the same “shared universe”, with that link often seeming to constitute a big reveal.

I have asked before and, thanks to Mute, have to ask again: why is it becoming a thing to tie movies together in this way?  What is the point, when Mute is a totally separate story not at all influenced by the events in Moon (and vice versa)?  Why does it matter that these movies occur in the same world at the same time if the events of one film do not impact the other in any way?  Why are we even mentioning this link and including a scene with Rockwell in Mute (other than the fact that he is so hot right now)? sohotrightnow Are people being drawn to Mute because it’s related to Moon?  Did anyone choose to watch Mute because of that link who otherwise would not have?  Is Rockwell such a big box office draw that his inclusion got Mute off the ground?  I have a hard time believing this one little throwaway scene helped Mute and yet, why else even bother?

Really, the only benefit of Rockwell’s inclusion was that it made this review easier to write, because Mute is otherwise forgettable even as you are watching it.  Visually, it is for the most part a shameless ripoff of Blade Runner only it’s bereft of any philosophical discussions about anything meaningful, with the only takeway being that parents should not make friends with pedophiles, a point which, much like the movie itself, did not really need to be made.

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31 thoughts on “Mute

  1. Jay

    Well I liked Moon so much that I would and did attempt this, though it likely wouldn’t have otherwise appealed to me. I love Paul Rudd, and he and Justin Theroux seemed to be putting a lot of energy into this, but they couldn’t save it. And Skarsgard was like cardboard for me. I think you needed an actor with a lot more presence since there was no dialogue from him.

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    1. Sean Post author

      So that’s a vote for the link mattering – did you like seeing Sam Rockwell’s character again or were you as disappointed as I was that seemed to be such a throwaway?

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      1. Jay

        I was frustrated with it, and I agree that if that’s all they’re doing, then don’t bother. There is no real link. I only meant that if I really love a movie, then I’m interested in that director’s follow up. I almost never assume those movies are going to be related.

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    1. Sean Post author

      That looks like another vote for the link mattering. After you watch this let me know whether you thought the movies felt at all alike. I didn’t think so at all.

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  2. Katrina Morrison

    I haven’t seen either movie but will now. Given that Rockwell rocks any role… still will see Mute just to see is it really that bad? Of course, it is because I know how accurate your articles are. But, Rockwell has a near cameo spot in it. Maybe adding him, works for goofy people like me 😂 Just please, don’t say I told you so!😊

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    1. Sean Post author

      Don’t see this for Rockwell as it’s a blink and you’ll miss it appearance.

      Overall, Mute’s not terrible but it felt flat and uninspired. There are much worse things on Netflix, this is just not something I would recommend seeking out.

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  3. floatinggold

    I think that IS the case. People are linking movies to other movies to gain more traction. Sure, it might not be in big numbers, but if it has the potential of being seen by even 1 more person, then why not.

    Because I am so submerged into the world of blogging at this time, I will compare your linking phenomenon to that of blogging. The goal is to fill your posts with links. To anything and everything. You spread your web in hopes to get an extra spider. Same here.

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    1. Sean Post author

      The links are a fair analogy. I guess the difference for me is that I’m linking to other posts not just to spread the web but to add context to the discussion and build on what we’ve written before. Mute misses the second element as the link between the movies doesn’t add anything to the plot or theme. And it’s more or less the same with the other movies I mentioned, though Split arguably is a bit of a different animal in that it leads directly into a sequel where these disparate threads will hopefully be brought together.

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      1. floatinggold

        I totally get what you’re saying. However, like the saying goes – if you don’t know what’s going on, it’s about money. That is my conclusion. It does not have to make sense. As long as it doesn’t “hurt”, then it’s worth a shot.

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    2. Jay

      Money was certainly the cause with the Cloverfield one – it wasnt’ originally planned as part of a trilogy and they only did it in retrospect, when nobody knew how else to package it. Because Netflix was responsible, and is responsible for this as well, I can’t help but draw the same conclusion, or at least be suspicious.

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  4. Paul Hellard

    The whole movie of Mute seemed so ‘drama school’. Skarsgard shouldn’t have taken the part. He looked so beaten up most of the time. truly a throwaway movie trying to be something it clearly was not. Which is such a pity. Sam Rockwell? *shrug, must have nodded off.

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  5. Carrie Rubin

    I haven’t heard of this movie, though my son has. What’s weird is, we the DVD of “Moon” sitting on our counter right now! Son got it from the library a few days ago, but we haven’t watched it yet. Sounds like that’s the one to stick with.

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  6. Kariyanine

    Agreed. I’m currently working on a review for it and my first draft was Mute is a film, followed by about fifty lines of empty space and, it’s not very good.

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  7. J.

    Bah! I’m very fond of Moon and was pretty excited when I spotted this on Netflix. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that this is not so good.

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    1. Jay

      Well if you watch very carefully you’ll see about 1.5 seconds worth of Moon-related footage, but it’s not even a cameo, it’s a screen in screen kind of thing, just on someone’s TV in the background, very throw away.

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  8. Aaron Hicks

    I actually chose to watch it due to the cast mostly. I knew Sam Rockwell was in it, but didn’t know he played Sam just in a news feed from after the events of moon. Reason 2 for me was the setting/ location/world reminded me of altered carbon. And of course the main being mute was accomplished incredibly.

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