Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, The Mule is inspired by the story of Leo Sharp, an elderly man who became a drug mule for a Mexican drug cartel. The movie changes several aspects of the name of the protagonists and dramatizes several incidents in the story.
Award-winning horticulturist and Korean War veteran Earl Stone (Clint Eastwood) is a man who has a strained relationship with his ex-wife Mary (Dianne Wiest) and daughter Iris (Alison Eastwood). Only his grand-daughter Ginny (Taissa Farmiga) shows him any sort of affection. However, after his business is shut down and foreclosed on, he is approached by local members of the cartel to do runs for them.
At first, he remains willfully ignorant of what he is delivering, but even after he discovers his cargo, he gets a taste of the money and continues the runs. He turns out to be a good deliveryman with the gang calling him ‘Tata.’ Meanwhile, DEA Agents Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper) and Trevino (Michael Peña) are hot on his tail.
Clint Eastwood can still make bank. From movie to movie, sure he has had a few bad eggs, but the man continues to act and direct in a spectacular way. Eastwood plays Stone as a confused man who gets caught up with the money in order to win the love of his family who has rejected him over his seemingly obsessive devotion to his flowers. He personifies this old curmudgeon in a brilliant way and brings the story to life.
While Eastwood steals the show, both Cooper and Peña do an excellent job as the law enforcement officials who are trying to track down ‘Tata’ and figure it out who it is.
My only problem with this film is that it leaves small plotholes and unanswered questions in regards to the secondary characters that are not resolved in the end. While they did not necessarily affect Earl’s arc, it still made you wonder what happened.
Bottom line, despite some of the unresolved issues, the movie highlights Eastwood’s talent as both an actor and a director. He continues to shine in his career.
FAVORITE QUOTE: It’s just time is all. I could buy everything, but I couldn’t buy time.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Strong foul language, Sexual content
Check out the trailer below:
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