Main Plot Points:
- In this electrifying and darkly comedic Hollywood neo-noir, an artist has an ominous encounter with a drifter in the desert, which gets taken to shocking extremes when the drifter follows him back to his privileged L.A. home life.
- Garret Hedlund plays Thomas, a brooding artist in a spiritual funk who leaves the comfort of his Hollywood Hills home to spend a few days in the Mojave desert. Before long, though, he meets Jack (Oscar Isaac), a dangerous, chameleon-like drifter who resents Thomas’ wealth and privilege; after a heated campfire conversation, Thomas tries to get away from Jack but in the process accidentally ends up killing an innocent stranger.
- Jack witnesses the murder and decides to follow Thomas home, adopting a new identity and relentlessly pursuing Thomas, holding his dark secret over his head as he attempts to infiltrate and destroy his seemingly-perfect life. Thomas must come to terms with his own insecurities and self-doubt to protect himself and his family, and go head-to-head with his nemesis in a riveting two-man clash that plays out in exciting and unexpected ways.
What We Thought:
- Mojave is an odd movie. I liked it, thought it was pretty good, just don’t ask me what the point of it was.
- I understand the story, an actor (Garret Hedlund) escapes to the desert to get away from the lights of Hollywood where he meets a drifter (Oscar Isaac) and accidentally shoots another man. Isaac’s character hunts down Hedlund and tries to make his life miserable because he witnessed the actor kill the man. I get that.
- But what I don’t get is, is there a deeper meaning to it all? Was the film trying for some existential meaning? Did Oscar Isaac’s drifter represent something more? Was there a layer I missed the point of or am I actually putting too much thought into the film?
- That being said, I still liked the film quite a bit. I think it’s because of the cast. We all know how hot of a name Oscar Isaac is (and deservedly so), but Hedlund goes toe to toe with him. I actually think Hedlund is underrated actor who’s been in some duds (Pan, Tron: Legacy). I like Hedlund a lot and movies like this show he can be a quality actor.
- Mark Wahlberg is also in the film. He plays a shady LA type from East Boston which is funny to me because I’m from Boston and I know how Mark grew up. The always awesome Walton Goggins is in it as well in a small role. Even in a smaller role, Goggins is great and steals scenes.
- I liked the style of the film. Sometimes these thriller type movies can have pacing problems, but at no point did it feel slow. The look and feel of the movie is right, nothing feels out of place or forced. All the characters seemed to fit and serve a point. The biggest positive is that it doesn’t necessarily try to be smarter than what it is. Maybe it does have a deeper meaning, maybe it doesn’t, but it doesn’t add any unnecessary twists and turns to outsmart itself.
- Without the cast it has, Mojave might not have been as good. I liked it and recommend it to Hedlund and Isaac fans. Both leads are good and play off each other well. It’s a smaller film that won’t do much at the box office even with the cast it has. You can already watch it on On Demand as well so I’m not quite sure what the studio expects from it. But I liked it anyways.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Oscar Isaac
- Garrett Hedlund
- Walton Goggins
- Mark Wahlberg
Recommended if You Like:
- The Rover
- Cold in July
- Oscar Isaac