When I heard of this film, first thing that came to mind was “wow look at this badass, Clint Eastwood still directing AND acting at 88 years old.” Truth be told, his recent films haven’t been that great. He’s had some really memorable directorial works in the past but recent years haven’t stuck out to me. I didn’t expect much else with The Mule, it seemed like the type of film we would see from Eastwood; a biographical film that doesn’t offer enough to its interesting story. Surprisingly, I really liked this film and its his best since Gran Torino.
The film is based on the true story of Leo Sharp, an 80+year old man who becomes a mule for the Sinaloa Cartel. The thing is no one expects it for so long. Even the DEA are stumped on who the mule could be. Eastwood plays Earl Stone (based on Sharp), a man who decides to make the money to not only better his own life but that of his estranged family, with whom he is trying to reconnect with. The dangers of the job are ever present and Stone must comply or face harsh consequences.
At first I was thinking that I wasn’t feeling Eastwood in the role but then his cooky casually racist old white guy role pulled through and its actually pretty funny. This film is just funny and entertaining. Its about time Eastwood is able to bring a biopic that engages the audience and shows how interesting its subject matter really is. Its not technically amazing or anything but its a joy to watch Eastwood on his cross country journey and his nonchalant attitude and run in with the law, despite there being major consequences.
I’m not sure if the film will appeal the masses but I love seeing Clint Eastwood in film, even in his advancing years. So this was kind of a treat to see him pull this performance out of the bag and bring a film that is humorous and touching throughout. Even if Eastwood were to retire from acting and directing after this, I would say he would be going out on a very strong note. One of the pleasant surprise of the year, go see The Mule people.