Originally, I was not going to review this, but I changed my mind because all the flaws this movie has just wouldn’t stop going through my mind. I hadn’t heard of this until it was mentioned on a movie forum I frequent, so I had zero expectations going in. Typically, as with horror, I can enjoy even a bad science fiction film. It’s not often that a 2001 or even a Strange Days comes along so you take what you get. Unfortunately, you get Mute.
The first, and largest issue, I have with this is it’s called science fiction. Scifi to me is something that looks down the road at what could be, not what is. You take Star Trek in the 60’s with communicators compared to cell phones of today. Those didn’t exist until much later and plenty of other aspects of that series still don’t exist. At no point in this stinking turd was there anything remotely sci-fi.
Food delivery via drone? Amazon is testing drone delivery. Sexbots also exist in some form. The little cars? We have Smart cars. The trachea talky thing? Probably have that or similar. Doctors? Yep, have those. I can’t recall anything in this remote science fiction although I started blocking out the horrible waste of time at some point so maybe I missed something. Simply having a future city bathed in neon doesn’t make a story sci-fi.
The second problem is that the Amish angle is completely wasted. Why not go in a direction that actually put his beliefs to the test? Like maybe introduce some camera footage to him in a VR helmet he can’t use. Any number of situations could be presented to make him have to work around things. Instead, he’s given an acceptable old cell phone. I guess Amish beliefs can be set aside as long as the technology is sufficiently old.
And how is he so technologically capable? If he grew up without using technology, then how is he so adept at ordering food via computer? Maybe watching others I guess, but the whole Amish angle was not only poorly implemented but ditched when the story needed to be moved forward. Learn to drive a stick in 5 seconds? Sorry, but no.
One of the worst offenses Mute has is that it tries to copy Blade Runner. The neon was not what made Blade Runner the masterpiece it is. Sadly though, nearly every single exterior shot you get at night is some neon-bathed street scene. It’s like every place this guy goes is some seedy underbelly.
Then we get down to the characters. Paul Rudd did a decent acting job but his character was kind of aimless. Sadly, his was the best character too. The child molester was completely needless and how do you have a friend that calls you babe all the time and not expect him to be some sort of sexual predator? That was telegraphed from a mile away. Plus the whole, “I found out about your fetish, please stop, now let’s get beers” garbage was utterly stupid.
You really don’t want to get in this car…
I really feel like this was some kind of college kid’s final exam and he got a C- for a grade with a “rewrite this with feeling” as a note. There are a lot of aspects of this that could have been good, and I think that is what makes this so frustratingly bad. If you’re looking for a better version of something like this then go watch Strange Days. That movie was a good science fiction thriller that touches on all the points this turd tries to, but actually works and works well.