Review: The Mule (2018)
Clint Eastwood returns to the silver screen with the release of his new film “The Mule” where he plays a Vietnam War vet named Earl Stone who gets tangled up with the Cartel and ends up playing drug mule for them.
The movie is based on the case of Leo Sharp, a renowned horticulturist who played drug courier for the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. He was arrested while transporting drugs driving a black Lincoln pickup truck in 2011.
To set expectations for you, the film is drama heavy and straightforward. Since its a semi-biopic expect lots of talk. Actually, that’s really what you should expect for this flick.
Clint Eastwood still proves that he’s an insanely good actor despite his advanced age. It’s always a treat to watch his little nuances as an actor and of course that gruff voice and demeanor. Playing Earl was somewhat of a change from the last time I saw him onscreen which was Gran Torino. Same driving force and character only different in the way they go about their lives. Earl’s this friendly guy who still has problems from his past, namely him being a terrible husband and father. The fake cathartic effect for him (him meeting the cartel and his subsequent employment) showed a lighter and happier side to him.
The real cathartic effect, the one that he shares with the audience is towards the end when all his baggage is thrown out the window and he’s free to go forward with his remaining days.
The film is star-studded to with guys like Bradley Cooper, Michael Pena, Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia helping move the story along. Cooper and Eastwood’s interactions are genuine. You like that these guys stay friends but that’s not going to be the case. This scene between the two only reflects how great they complement each other, which was also the reason why “American Sniper” was such a damn good Eastwood movie.
The Mule Trailer
One aspect for The Mule that I enjoyed was how its a 21st Century version of Clint Eastwood’s classic spaghetti western movies. A man with a mission going on a journey through the midwest and finding some sense of salvation along the way.
While you may argue about how the film ends, I think it was a good way to end the story. No spoilers here but you’ll know that it felt like it didn’t give any real closure to the other people involved with Earl Stone’s story.
While the drama can falter from time to time, its still satisfying and compelling enough to keep you at the edge of your seat. Great cinematography and nice musical scoring.
The Mule Verdict
The Mule is a slow burning story that’s satisfying and haunting with a great performance by Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper.
Special thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures Philippines!