The Mule (2018)
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Eastwood portrays Earl Stone, a mild-mannered hardworking horticulturalist who became a champion drug mule for the cartels as law enforcement was completely blind to his low-key but highly effective operations. Enter Bradley Cooper as the dedicated DEA agent who has to muster considerable time and resources to even begin to piece things together and Michael Pena as his partner. Dianne Weist offers a sympathetic turn as Stone's long-suffering ex-wife. Andy Garcia is good fun as the drug lord who is pleased with the old mercenary's hard work.
Although this film covers a grim story, it has a light-hearted feel for many stretches and a refreshing sense of humor. Eastwood himself is absolutely compelling as an old man who suddenly finds himself awash in money from an illegal enterprise and seeing the world from a different angle; here, Clint reminds us how huge a screen presence he has no matter how old he gets.
I'm not sure what many critics have missed with this film but hopefully audiences will take note. Eastwood has given us another great film and one of his best performances ever in this crackerjack drama. Highly recommended.
This new movie , directed and featuring Clint Eastwood, has a good enough story. Eastwood plays a 90 year old man who becomes a mule for a drug cartel, driving and delivering large quantities of cocaine. He begins this job to earn enough money to pay for his family member's expenses, so that he can win their trust again. Later on , he decides to continue with it because the drug cartel bosses and members also seem to respect him, and , and like him. "The Mule" likes to be the centre of attention - something which all the senior people crave for. Cheers , Mr Clint Eastwood, you still shine brightly enough on-screen.
This movie was pretty entertaining, their some scenes I enjoyed laughing and some I was sad. Regret hurts. You wish you could turn back the clock. Clint Eastwood presents that wonderfully in this movie. This is a great film to see.
The Mule is up there with his best films such as Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, Letters from Iwo Jima, American Sniper and Mystic River. The Mule is an Instant classic. At his age of 88, it is hard to imagine he has many more great films left in him but if not, he will certainly go out on a high note with this masterpiece!
This is one not to be missed. It deserves a lot of attention come Oscar time!
The good: -Clint Eastwood -Supporting cast -Music score and soundtrack -A couple strong moments (Earl and Mary's last convo, Earl and Agent Bates' last convo)
The bad: -Shallow characters -Story lacks detail and complexity -Tonally uneven -The purpose and message of the film was conveyed in an unimaginative and cliche manner
If you love Eastwood, check it out. You might enjoy it. Sadly, his character is the only one with any nuance, substance, or layers. The plot is developed poorly without enough detail to make the viewer feel immersed or invested in what's going on.
A man whose life as a glad-handed flirt is bankrupt when a complete stranger approaches him with a job offer. First the good-ol'-boy follows up on this with no other information that 'he will be driving.' Then the good-ol'-boy starts throwing around wads of CASH, and no one seems the least bit suspicious. Until his ex-wife is on her death-bed. Only then is the question raised.
The foreclosure is paid off - in CASH, and the bank does not question. Huge red flag of illegal activity.
The whole encounter with the K9 officer was unbelievable. The dog gives an alert, but the handler is impatient with him. No K9 handler would be so dismissive of his partner. And no K9 would approach a suspect when on alert. And no handler would not have his dog on voice control.
The granddaughter has a comfortable relationship with her grandfather, despite the estrangement of her mother and grandmother. No back story to account for how this happens.
Granddaughter graduates from cosmetology school (paid by grandfather, of course) with a cap and gown ceremony!
Police officer in Missouri is easily distracted from his inquiries by tubs of popcorn!
Second set of cartel handlers goes from threats and intimidations on first meeting to empathy after their mule has been off the grid for more than a week.
There are more and more. I am generally of the school of thought that 'suspension of disbelief' can be a huge factor in enjoying movies. But there were just too many holes in this movie to sustain this.
How does he become a drug runner? Glad you asked. When Clint's character Earl is visiting his granddaughter for a pre-wedding brunch, a random guest at the gathering walks up to Earl as he is leaving and, based on a super short conversation about his truck, asks him if he wants the gig. Makes sense. They've never met before. Why not ask the 90-year old granddad of the bride if he wants to be a drug mule? Makes sense. And he accepts! Sure! Why not.
So after the pick-up at a tire place, Earl does his first run for a mexican cartel. They have no idea who the guy is, but they gladly shove millions of dollars worth of drugs into his beat-up truck and send him on his way. When he completes the job (driving from one city to another), he spends all his newfound cash on a fancy new, juiced-up truck.
Later, he pays off a large bill to get his foreclosed home back; the time after that he spends at least 25 g's to pay off debts to re-open a restaurant he likes. You'd think the cartel would caution him not to spend all his drug money at once and so lavishly, to avoid raising suspicion, given he is officially broke. Instead, they praise him on his new wheels. Sure, makes sense.
On his fifth run, where he is transporting an exceptionally big 'ol load of drugs, his new handler follows him the whole way. What do they need Earl for, then, if the men from the cartel drive the exact same route anyway?
It's also more than a bit odd for them to entrust a 90-year old stranger with a valuable payload given the fact that he could drop dead at any moment, for one, with his advanced age and all.
At one point he has $12 million worth of drugs and they (the cartel) can't find him for over a week as he attends to his dying ex-wife. Hmm. Maybe put a tail on him or place a GPS tracker with the dope? Or, hey, maybe check if he is with a family member such as the mother of his daughter? Just an idea.
As he does more runs, the cartel alternates between wanting him to follow orders to the letter and saying it might be less suspicious that he sometimes takes alternate routes and such. Hmm. They also threaten him, even though he shows repeatedly that he doesn't care about their intimidation or what they may do to him.
Despite his right-wing nutty political views I actually like Clint. He is obviously a legendary actor and he's good in this movie too. Even while pushing ninety in real life he seems to be enjoying himself with this character.
Bradley Cooper mostly phones in his performance as a tough DEA dude, while most of the other characters are also caricatures. Michael Peña, usually great, is particularly bad in this film.
Earl's granddaughter, played by Taissa Farmiga, looks like she's around fourteen at her own wedding but that may just be Farmiga having exceptionally youthful looks.
It's a really odd movie, but worth a watch for Clint's (presumably last) performance as an actor.
I was interested in seeing this movie since I don't have much experience with watching Eastwood movies and this may end up being his last movie. Either way, this movie is actually pretty good. It was well-acted, well-shot and had a mostly well-told story. Clint Eastwood is great in this. I just love his performance of this man with an attitude and yet he's still fairly likable. We want him to succeed despite his quirks; he felt believable in his need for survival. I also thought Bradley Cooper was great in this performance. He felt intimidating, for instance there is a scene with him and Earl before the third act which made me feel uncomfortable since they were both unaware that they were going against each other. This movie also has a good moral regarding work and families, which in this day and age feels especially needed.
The biggest problem that does bring this movie down for me however would have to be the pacing of the first half. It felt really slow in my eyes and in general had very little tension between Stone and Cooper's character. It felt really long and drawn-out and I was genuinely bored throughout it. It's at least nice that the second half really picks things up.
Despite a rough start, I did enjoy what this film has to offer. I feel like Clint Eastwood fans would enjoy it as well as those who are fans of crime thrillers. 7/10