FilmMovie ReviewsMovie Review – Mope (2019)

JulieGJune 21, 20208 min

IMDb Rating: 5.1/10

NR | 1h 45min | Comedy, Drama | 15 June 2019 (Canada) | Movie

Metacritic: 48/100

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 56% Rotten (Critic Reviews)

Director:  Lucas Heyne

Writers:  Michael Louis Albo, Lucas Heyne, David C Hill

Stars:  Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Kelly Sry, Brian Huskey

Movie Tagline: Everyone Is Going to Know Their Names”

IMDb summary: The tragic true story of best friends Steve Driver and Tom Dong, two low end porn actors who sought fame but gained infamy.

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Written by Jeremy

I had never heard of the term “Mope,” and once I found out what it meant, it sums up the movie perfectly. In the porn industry, a “mope” refers to the lowest tier of worker you can get. So if you could imagine the worst job a porn star could have, that’s exactly what a mope is.

So it’s terrible to be a mope.

We meet two dreamers, Steve Driver played by Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and Tom Dong played by Kelly Sry. They strike me as two very awkward people from the beginning. And through this awkwardness, they somehow find a common ground. Both of them want to make it big in the porn industry, and like most things in life, to get anywhere you need to start at the bottom. What I really liked about these two characters is how optimistic they seemed, even when things went wrong.

While this movie isn’t as graphic as you might expect for a movie about the porn industry, there are some scenes that really made me cringe. To give you a sign of what you can expect in this film, there is an entire scene dedicated to “ball busting”. I won’t spoil it for you, just know that it’ll most probably make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you’re a dude.

Now, try to remember, this film is based on actual events.

Brian Huskey plays the boss Eric, owner of the adult movie company Ultima DVD. He seems reasonably personable for a sadist. He forces his two minions to do unspeakable acts. It’s almost like he’s finally found two people willing to do just about anything to make it in the industry. And he’s more than happy to exploit this for everything it’s worth.


Once I learned this film is based on actual events, it made it harder to feel positive about any of it. The writer of the screenplay did a decent job of capturing the hope and dreams that these two people had. And he also captured the sadness of their reality.

While this movie is about the porn industry, at its foundation it’s a film about how hopes and dreams can drive people to do outlandish things. And how some people really can lose their grip on reality when things don’t go their way and their dreams fall apart.

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett’s portrayal of Steve Driver was outstanding. I felt he really captured the desperation of his character. And it’s just tragic how these two people end up in an unfathomable situation at the end.

Try to avoid reading about the true story online so you can experience the movie for what it is; a movie about hope and shattered dreams and a very unfortunate turn of events. And yes, it’s a movie about porn, but that is such a minor aspect of it. People are put off by the subject and therefore aren’t willing to look beyond the surface of what this film is really about.


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