19 December 2015 | michaelktyee
A lot of (great) moving parts that never quite come together.
Something that looks like a 'film', specifically this term and the aesthetic to which it implies, I feel has come to be expected of contemporary dramas/character studies. Mojave knows it. It looks to tick a lot of these archetypal boxes: jaded, frustrated characters, blatant motifs (the temptation of Christ?), a redemptive narrative, an undertone of despair that never loosens up until the end of the last arc. Yes with all these elements motivating it's narrative, the movie never achieves a sense of coherency; it's Hitchcockian one moment with it's intermittent key score, and then Fincher-esque the next with it's sweeping pans and use of negative space in shots. It's an actor's playground that, as charming and talented as all the individuals are, doesn't leave a lot for the audience to soak in, unless you really, really like angry, shout-y Mark Wahlberg, who is playing quite possibly the closest characterisation to his real life personality in this role. I never fully understood the goal of the protagonist... I guess it had something to do with doing the right thing and his daughter? Too much Tyler Durton syndrome in concepts like these I feel.