The Mule Review
What’s It About?
An elderly flower farmer hits hard times, and ends up becoming a drug mule for a Mexican cartel.
Who’s In It?
Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, Million Dollar Baby, & Gran Torino)
Bradley Cooper (The Hangover I-III, Guardians Of The Galaxy, & more recently A Star Is Born)
Other notables include:
Andy Garcia (The Godfather Part III, Ocean’s Eleven, & more recently Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!)
Dianne Wiest (Hannah And Her Sisters, Edward Scissor Hands, & more recently Sisters)
Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story, 6 Years, & more recently The Nun)
Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Mystic River, & more recently Ant-Man And The Wasp)
Director: Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, & more recently Sully)
After the thoroughly underwhelming 15:15 To Paris, Clint returns with a bit of a bang as old-timer Earl Stone. A successful flower farmer, namely lillies, Earl has dedicated his life to his specimens, much to the detriment of his family, and now his flowers are all he has left, after serially disappointing his wife and daughter by missing key events including his daughter’s wedding.
Still at least he has his flower business and the accolades that go with them – that is until the rise of the internet, and Earl is soon out of business.
With things looking as bleak as can be, and the very real prospect of disappointing his granddaughter (the only one who believes in him) by not funding her wedding, Earl gets introduced to the cartel. With his impeccable driving licence, Earl becomes a drug mule for them, and earns quite a bit of money along the way enabling him to win back his family’s affections, save his family home and rescue some local amenities.
Loosely based on a true story of a 90-year-old man being the cartel’s most successful drug runner, The Mule is certainly an intriguing prospect. The challenges facing Earl are a bit clichéd, his family don’t take much to win over, and we don’t get a sniff of the lives Earl is ruining by bringing these drugs into Chicago, but aside from that, the moments with Clint and the cartel are hugely enjoyable with the veteran demonstrating just why he is a screen legend.
He is ably supported by a talented cast including former collaborator Bradley Cooper, as well as Michael Pena, but the rest of the talented cast are hugely underwritten in Laurence Fishbone and Andy Garcia, but especially actresses Dianne Wiest, Taissa Farmiga and Alison Eastwood. Throw in numerous semi-clad women, and two threesomes, and unfortunately The Mule is really struggling with the Bechdel test.
In A Nutshell:
A surprisingly enjoyable film with Clint back to his onscreen best, but let down by some badly underwritten roles and a varied script.
Clint back to his best
Some weak lines
Very limited roles for such a talented cast such as Andy Garcia, and most of the female roles including Dianne Wiest