Anthony Wallers grasp of the film is intensive. The film is a rapid adrenalin ride right from the outset and Waller rarely lets up. The run through the deserted film studio at the start is an incredibly tense sequence with the heroine hanging from lift shafts; some incredibly anxious shots like the one where Mary Sudina hides from one of the killers in the stairwell only to be cornered by the shadow of the other killer coming up from below; or her run from her killers to the door, the breathlessness of the scene being fully conveyed in one remarkable focus-changing split diopter shot, then bursting through the door only to fall over the balcony but have the fall broken by a landing in a tub of film cans. The attack on Mary Sudina in her apartment is equally gruelling.
For all the assured audacity of its style, Mute Witness is also an incredibly manipulative film. Anthony Waller has no shame when it comes to the shock effects he is prepared to throw us into the midst of and then pull back and say Just kidding! There is a slow motion sequence where we are led to believe one of the killers stabs Evan Richards with a knife, which then pulls back only to show it was a fake prop knife. Most obvious of these is the faked shooting of Mary Sudina at the ending. Even after it is over, Anthony Waller gets one final jump in by having a bullet go off before pulling back to show it is Evan Richards playing around with the explosive charges. The plot becomes extraordinarily improbable at times it is almost impossible to work out which side which cop is on and the character of Larsen changes side so many times that one completely loses track. In a lesser film, such improbabilities and outright manipulation would be a major annoyance. Such is the pleasure that can be taken in the suspense that Anthony Waller generates that one is prepared to go along with this.
Anthony Waller never went onto do anything else that Mute Witness suggested he could have. He subsequently made the disappointing An American Werewolf in Paris (1997) and the little-seen thriller The Guilty (1999). Wallers output slowed in the subsequent decade but he then returned with two genre productions, Nine Miles Down (2009) about a mineshaft that may have drilled all the way down to Hell, and The Singularity is Near (2010), a quasi-documentary/work of science-fiction about the growth of artificial intelligence.
(Nominee for Best Director (Anthony Waller) at this sites Best of 1995 Awards).