MOVIE REVIEW: “The Mule” stars Clint Eastwood (Gran Tornio, The Good the Bad and the Ugly), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Sniper), Michael Peña (Ant-Man, Fury), Taissa Farmiga (The Final Girls, Anna), Allison Eastwood (Absolute Power, One Long Night), Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Girls, The Birdcage), Ignacio Serricchio (The Wedding Ringer, Bones [TV series]), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, John Wick: Chapter 2), and Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven, The Godfather Part III). It is directed by Clint Eastwood, with the screenplay being written by Nick Schenk (Narcos [TV series], The Judge). Earl Stone (Eastwood), a 90-year-old horticulturist, turns to the drug trade by becoming a mule after learning the crazy money involved with the job.
It is truly a gift to see a Hollywood great like Clint Eastwood act in a film. His last gig was on 2012’s “Trouble with the Curve.” That’s six years folks. I actually thought that he’d never act again, given his advanced age, but whaddaya know? If there’s anything to say about “The Mule,” you should see it for Eastwood. He plays a bit of a different role than what I’m used to, hanging up his grizzled hate for a more softer, genuine character. Still, Earl Stone does some bad stuff in this flick, but his heart is in the right place. It’s your run-of-the-mill “Breaking Bad,” but less aggressive. This one has light-hearted moments, a warm ending, and Bradley Cooper. You could say it has charm, but does it hold a high standard in filmmaking? For what it’s worth, “The Mule” is a solid picture to watch on a lazy Sunday. It’s got some strong performances, good music, solid cinematography, and the sense that the filmmakers enjoyed what they were crafting. I certainly didn’t have a bad experience watching “The Mule,” and found myself entertained throughout. Whether it be seeing Clint Eastwood dance with beautiful women far too young for him, Cooper and Michael Peña do their investigation, or some well-written moments strung throughout, there’s quite a bit to acknowledge. I just wish it wasn’t all to familiar of a story. We all know where the road goes with this one, and the supporting characters aren’t written strongly enough for there to be much interest outside of Eastwood and Cooper. To be honest, even Cooper has a weaker character. Most of his dialogue is really him trying to convince his boss that they have a lead on their case. I think he did that five times throughout the film. Some would argue that they came here for Eastwood, and yes, that’s why I chose to watch this myself. But if you were to take Eastwood out of the picture, I really don’t think “The Mule” would be at all remarkable. Heck, there isn’t much memorable about it in its present state, but seeing Eastwood back on the saddle doing what he knows best makes for a joyride. It’s a perfect story for the guy, albeit it being less than spectacular as a film itself. There’s enough to like about “The Mule” to the point where you’ll walk out saying it was solid, but that’s about it. While I would’ve wanted another “Gran Torino,” I’ll have to settle for what I received, and that’s a decent movie that doesn’t look to be too abrasive. FINAL SCORE: 78%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: