The Mule (2018) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
At the ripe of old age of 88, Clint Eastwood defies the fact that a decade ago we saw “Gran Torino” as his fitting finale. Yet in “The Mule” he plays a similar character except even more outrageous and intense as a drug dealer and prostitute hanger of a beguiled grandfather. Eastwood is an ancient relic with long lasting stealth and in this film shows he can still direct and star in a very good film. Based on a true story of a granddad way past his prime going thru a tough patch and almost in debt, Eastwood goes on a drug delivering journey and breaking all sorts of records in the process.
Clint Eastwood headlines the film with a constant star attraction as he looks every bit part of 88 years. His guided walk and natural appearances add to the credibility of the role. He even manages to emote as he repent on his past sins of not being with his family over the many years that he roam across the road. In more generic supporting roles, we see Bradley Cooper understated as a downbeat cop and Lawerence Fishburne and Michael Pena stars in unmemorable roles. It’s Eastwood that carries the film and does so with a certain level of delight.
All in all, “The Mule” plays like “Gran Torino 2” as a matter of fact, but it allows Eastwood to more than act his age so gracefully in all action scenes fitting of someone almost 90 years of age. His playful racism ends up being likeable as he politically correct himself after the fact. There is many playful scenes and the all action drug driving rides are a joy to experience. Let’s hope Eastwood continues to direct and act in movies as he rarely disappoints.
I rated it 8/10