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Would you be able to spot the Devil if it sat down right in front of you? What form would you expect it to take? Could you win a game of wits with the Devil? Is the truth more believable than a plausible and easily explainable fictitious narrative?
Mojave, written in a sort of Tarantino meets Shakespeare style, is a slow moving, dialogue heavy thriller which makes the viewer ponder these questions as the lead characters, Jack and Thomas, meet in a short but contentious encounter in the middle of the isolated Mojave Desert. The chance meeting quickly escalates into a game of cat and mouse that oscillates between suspenseful and ridiculous, at times giving me flashbacks of the Great Vizzini from The Princess Bride.
Jack and Thomas are portrayed meticulously by Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund respectively, displaying either deeply unhappy or disturbed men, unfortunately we are never exactly clear which. The lack of character development makes their goals, motivations and emotions unclear, and therefore it is difficult for the viewer to feel connected to either character.
Given the strong cast and experienced Writer/Director, I had higher expectations for this film. After numerous, highly suspenseful, encounters between the main characters, the story builds to a point where the viewer is left disappointed by the climax, or lack thereof. In addition, the few scenes with Thomas’ business associate Norman, played by Mark Wahlberg, which should have broken the tension with a bit of humor also missed the mark. By the end of the movie the viewer is left with many questions, but only one answer, which is that an alternate scenario is far more plausible than the sequence of events that have unfolded over the last 90 minutes.
Fans of the lead actors will enjoy this film because their work is flawless. However, a stronger script would have made this a movie more enjoyable for fans of this genre.

Mojave is streaming now on the following services:
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