Mute

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Rated Greg’s Top 5 Paul Rudd Performances

  1. Brian Fantana – Anchorman
  2. Cactus Bill – Mute
  3. Chuck – Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  4. Bobby Newport – Parks and Rec
  5. Josh – Clueless

Netflix’s Mute is mostly a miss. Written and directed by Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie), the film follows a wordless Alexander Skarsgard as he roams a Blade Runner-type Berlin of the future looking for his missing girlfriend. There are some interesting ideas and the movie looks great, but for some reason it never really gets you going or pulls you in.  It’s just Skarsgard going door-to-door, intimidating and occasionally beating up various thugs who might know where his lover is. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that basically the plot of the Double Dragon arcade game?

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Even with unlimited quarters, DD got old after a few levels and unfortunately the same thing happens here.  If there’s one and only one saving grace to Mute, I have to say it’s the relationship between Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux’s characters, Cactus Bill and Duck respectively, who are two best friend surgeons operating on the fringes of the Berlin criminal network.  These guys are honestly the only reason I wanted to post about this movie in the first place.  A good gauge as to the quality of a film is how often I think to look at my phone while watching it, which I did quite often during Mute, but every time these two popped up on the screen that phone went right back down.

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While I was definitely disappointed with the overall product, I did leave thinking I would absolutely watch a 30-minute spinoff sitcom featuring the nefarious MD’s.  They’re that entertaining.  But what’s funny is, only after listening to a recent Marc Maron podcast with Duncan Jones did I learn that Rudd and Theroux were written as direct tributes to Trapper and Hawkeye from MASH.  So I guess they were purposely going for that type of aura.  MASH was before my time so it was lost on me, but in between moments of Maron repeatedly bringing up the director’s famous dead father, Jones talks about how he was always weirdly curious of what a sinister MASH would look like.  Apparently it’s fairly obvious to anyone who grew up with the show the moment Rudd and Theroux are introduced.  Anyways, I think he’s on to something.  If you enjoyed MASH you may want to check this out, while understanding that it’s not exactly a good movie.  Grade: C

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