The Mule

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Clint Eastwood in The Mule
"The director (Clint) takes it easy, letting the actors walk through their roles in style."

First there was The Sundance Kid in The Old Man And The Gun and now it’s The Mule with The Man With No Name. They have signed off, or so they say. Tears have been shed and wiped dry.

Clint Eastwood is over 80, still looking good and moving well. If this is his farewell production it fits neatly into the bucket of fade where hopes and dreams dissolve.

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Earl Stone cares about flowers and calls himself a horticulturist. When work dries up because of his age what’s he going to do? Lee Israel was up against the same thing in Can You Ever Forgive Me? She became a forger and did well. Stone became a drugs mule and did even better. How it happened was a chance meeting with a Mexican criminal. Sounds like movie make believe, suitable for older actors. Actually it’s complicated and almost credible.

The film is Stone’s story. Is that enough? Not really, even with Bradley Cooper as the cop on the case. Eastwood (Stone) is finally beginning to look his age.

The bad guys don’t talk much. You expect the worst to blow your mind as the plot slips away like a whisper. Excitement dies on the vine.

Can criminal activity be controlled in certain cases like this one, helping the needy (Stone’s bank balance), despite quantities of cocaine and heroin ending up on the streets? Morality suffers as Eastwood fights the good fight, allowing Stone to remain solvent. The director (Clint) takes it easy, letting the actors walk through their roles in style. The pace has slowed since Dirty Harry. Time has its own rules and rhythm.

Stone listens and waits. Everyone does.

Reviewed on: 31 Jan 2019
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A 90-year-old horticulturist and Korean War veteran is caught transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Illinois for a Mexican drug cartel.

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Sam Dolnick

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Clint Eastwood, Manny Montana, Taissa Farmiga, Andy Garcia, Alison Eastwood, Michael Peña, Jill Flint, Laurence Fishburne

Year: 2018

Runtime: 116 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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