Nov 28, 2021, 2:44:31 PM11/28/21
I've been a fan of science fiction since I was a kid and I've come to
understand there are several broad categories of the genre. For
instance, I think of movies like Star Wars and Star Trek and E.T. as
soft science fiction: their entertainment value comes more from the
interactions of people than from futuristic gadgets and gizmos. And I
think of other movies (and books) as hard science fiction -- movies in
which fictional science is central to the plot. That would be movies
like Blade Runner with its androids and Edge of Tomorrow with its time
travel. This is the category I favor.
That's why I'm so enthusiastic about two movies by Duncan Jones, son of
a mother who deserted him as a child to be raised by his father, David
Bowie, because as she claimed, Bowie's drug problem was so bad she
thought raising a child might stabilize him. Yikes. (Duncan, or Zowie,
still isn't speaking to his mother. Apparently their relationship would
be record-setting toxic, if there were a relationship. This is worth
Oh yeah, the movie. Duncan Jones directed two of my favorite hard
science fiction movies: MOON and SOURCE CODE. They are terrific; I've
watched both several times; I'm sure I'll watch them again; if you've
never watched them, well, what are you waiting for?
The other day I discovered he'd directed another science fiction movie,
MUTE, and I'd never heard of it. Based on my experience with Jones'
other movies and hoping for more hard science fiction, I immediately
looked this one up even after I'd read a few unenthusiastic reviews. How
could it disappoint? I mean it's directed by Duncan Jones and he's
proven he knows what he's doing when it comes to SF.
Well, I have to say the tepid reviews were right on the money. Duncan
Jones and some other guy wrote the screenplay, so he has nobody but
himself to blame for the story's unbelievable setup. For some reason he
wanted the main character to be able to hear but unable to speak, so he
wrote a speedboat accident that chopped out the character's larynx when
he was a child and to explain why the injury wasn't repaired he made him
American Amish for whom modern medicine is a no-no, and to explain why
the story was set in near-future Germany he invented reverse Amish
migration and when the movie was all over I realized I had no idea why
his being mute or even Amish added to the story in any way whatsoever.
The rest of the movie makes about as much sense and a sweet little child
spends much of it in mortal danger and I hate when that happens and I
grew really tired of it all long before it ended. C'mon Duncan, do
better next time.
I did find it interesting that the movie is dedicated to Duncan Jones'
father and nanny, both now deceased. I'm telling you, his life story is
worth Googling if you're interested in toxic family relationships.
I am the Mighty Favog