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MUTE, new sci-fi in Netflix town

mute-new-sci-fi-in-netflix-town

Netflix has released Duncan JonesMute, the upcoming sci-fi noir film starring Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies, The Legend of Tarzan, War on Everyone), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man and The Wasp), Justin Theroux (The Girl on the Train, The Leftovers) and newcomer Seyneb Saleh. A great cast put in an all too familiar script that has left behind a trail of bummed reactions.

We're in a city of the future, a loud, often brutal city, where Leo (Skarsgård) – unable to speak from a childhood accident – searches for his missing girlfriend, the love of his life, his salvation, through dark streets, frenzied plazas, and the full spectrum of the cities shadow-dwellers. As he seeks answers, Leo finds himself mixed up with Cactus Bill (Rudd) and Duck (Theroux), a pair of irreverent US army surgeons on a mission all their own. (via ComingSoon)

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"Mute is yet another film in the recent Blade Runner revival trend that seems to be booming in sci-fi. Blade Runner 2049 kept the franchise going with a bleak, beautiful tone poem (that audiences mostly avoided). Netflix’s Altered Carbon created a trippy science fiction series that seemed to be set within the same neon-lit, constantly-raining Blade Runneruniverse. Now Mute brings it all home, with another gorgeous-yet-bleak future-scape. Neon lights buzz, streets are constantly wet, and tech is used in soul-crushing ways. In Mute, the future is even more depressing than the present. Jones’ considerable skill with cinematic language cannot be denied. He fills every inch of every frame with riveting, hypnotic detail here. The world of Mute feels alive, and more than that, it feels lived-in. Netflix’s recent Altered Carbonhad a far-too-synthetic vibe at times. Yes, it looked great, but almost nothing seemed solid, or tangible. It came across as a world concocted by a very talented computer artist. Mute, in contrast, is humming with life. There are wide-open shots of skylines cluttered with glimmering, shimmering neon-lit structures, and every single one looks real. It’s a feast for the eyes. Sadly, it’s not enough. There’s nothing I wanted Mute to be more than a return to form for Jones. The filmmaker released the one-two-punch of Moon and Source Code, two of the best science fiction films in recent memory. He stumbled slightly with Warcraft, a charmingly weird but ultimately clunky adaptation of the popular game series. Warcraft was the biggest film Jones had made to date, and there was hope a return to a smaller sci-fi story like Mutewould rekindle his cinematic magic." (Slashfilm)

The Netflix original film is directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code, Warcraft) and written by Jones and Michael Robert Johnson (Sherlock Holmes). Stuart Fenegan serves as producer and Charles J.D. Schissel and Trevor Beattie serve as executive producers.

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"If Mute were a better film, it would provide a shining example of the Netflix machine functioning exactly as designed: write creators with vision a check, let them do their thing, and trust that the lack of oversight will translate to a product with integrity. Jones has spent 15 years trying to get this production off the ground, no small feat in an industry that has all but abandoned mid-budget genre pictures, and Netflix should come off looking like a guardian angel to visionaries frustrated by the studio system.

The problem is that Jones couldn’t hold up his end of the bargain and deliver work that rates even as “interesting”, the last salvation of flagrantly terrible movies. (How his post-digital Berlin could simultaneously look so expensive and so cheap may be a Zen riddle.) Instead, most disappointingly of all, the volleys of overindulgent inertia mount a convincing argument against the very class of release in sadly short supply at present. Watching Jones passively bob in the deep end of his imagination, a viewer longs for the compulsory baseline competence of the big studios – anything but the blandness masquerading as future cult bait." (The Guardian)

"Got an old screenplay in your bottom drawer that’s been rejected by practically everyone in town? Now’s your chance: Netflix seems to be greenlighting second-rate “content” like cinema was going out of style (and if the company’s stream-at-home strategy succeeds, it just might). The latest beneficiary is “Moon” director Duncan Jones, who dusted off a 15-year-old idea, attached a few name actors, and delivered the latest disappointing Netflix Original with alliterative Mute, an over-designed but otherwise uninspired slice of sci-fi noir — a stock missing-persons mystery in which a wordless bartender goes searching for his girlfriend through the sketchy near-future Berlin underworld." (Variety)

Mute is available on Netflix, check out the trailer below.

Tags:   netflix, news, sci-fi, trailer, film news, Mute

Related:   The Legend of Tarzan, Big Little Lies, Sherlock Holmes, Source Code, The Leftovers, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Warcraft, Mute


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