Writer and Director William Monahan may be best known for his award-winning screenplay The Departed, Kingdom of Heaven and Body of Lies but Mojave is a far cry from his best work on the big screen, even the brilliant Oscar Isaac couldn’t save this one from being anything but fairly average.
Mojave tells the story of Superstar Tom (Garrett Hedlund), his wife and child away in London hits the wall of depression, wanting to escape his life he takes a trip into the Desert to be someone else. However, his journey into the scenic location doesn’t go without its hitches. Encountering the extremely subdued and highly articulate Jack (Oscar Isaac), a psychotic gun-wielding man, things take an uncertain turn for the worse.
As the men seemingly bond over Tom’s campfire, Tom soon starts to realise Jack is a much more sinister character than he first thought. As the meeting ends disastrously Tom’s escape out of the desert to his LA Home see’s him shooting a police officer he mistakenly took as Jack. Unfortunate for Tom, Jack has witnessed the shooting and despite his attempts to cover his tracks Jack finds out Tom’s identity and the rest of the film turns into a cat and mouse story between the two men with a dull sleep-inducing script which tends to verge on the pretentious.
With Jack taking on a whole new appearance after killing off a kindly stranger who helped him out, Jack seeks out Tom. At each encounter, Jack tries to play intellectual mind games and anyone who just so happens to be involved with Tom, unfortunately, gets in the way and encounters a horrible fate. We have the likes of Mark Wahlberg as a coke snorting, bed hopping producer, whilst this role injects a minute amount of humour it’s nowhere near enough to shake this out of its coma.
Monahan, who wrote this screenplay over a decade ago, has clearly over thought this script, with its numerous quotes from Shakespeare and alike, the long and tedious dialogues between the two men, and numerous ironic jokes aimed at Hollywood, this so called thriller just falls flat on its face with its anti-climatic ending.
We can’t even rely on the performances of these big named actors to bring to life the characters they play. Garrett Hedlund seems quite detached from his role; he fails to make you really care about Tom or what awaits him. Even Oscar Isaac tries his best and whilst making a convincing case for his psychotic take of Jack he can’t quite conjure up a miracle to make the script any better.
Signature Entertainment Presents Mojave at Cinemas and on Demand from 25th March