Mojave: Film Review

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An intense crime thriller starring Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund?! Sign me up! Mojave sounded right up my street but sadly this completely fails to thrill, excite or make me feel anything.

Anguished actor Tom (Hedlund) heads into the Mojave desert to get away from it all when he has an encounter with creepy homicidal drifter Jack (Isaac). Jack witnesses Tom accidentally shoot a police officer and follows him back to Los Angeles determined to kill him.

This had the potential to be a really intense and gripping cat-and-mouse style crime thriller but it lacks that edge. I didn’t understand why Jack wanted to kill Tom –none of the ‘explanations’ rang true. Tom is also totally unlikeable. He is married with a kid and he is sleeping with an actress and he has this ‘woe is me, I’m so tortured’ thing going on which hardly makes him sympathetic. You only want him to win their chase because his motivations make more sense than Jack’s but you’re not really rooting for anybody. I know this isn’t necessary to enjoy a film but I was not remotely invested. I didn’t particularly give a crap about who won.

Needless to say, the plot is very thin on the ground and the script never lets us access who these central stereotypical characters really are. Hedlund is perfectly cast as the near-suicidal actor whereas I’m not convinced Isaac was the best fit for this role. He looked creepy and the buzzcut and dodgy teeth helped his drifter image, but I just like him as an actor too much to buy this villain act. But that’s down to the writing – I believe he was bad in Ex Machina – but here I don’t. There were also small supporting roles for Mark Wahlberg as a producer (he’s playing his usual character) and Walton Goggins, who was fabulous in The Hateful Eight, is just plain odd as Tom’s agent.

This did seem like it would be awesome, but sadly it is not. I watched it so you don’t have to! The actors do a great job but the basic story and character development give them little to work with. Go watch something else.

In cinemas Friday 25th March 

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