Earl's meant to be charming. For that reason, I wasn't impressed by the movie on a storytelling level, but more on how the story itself was told. Now close to 90 himself, Eastwood looks older and frailer than you may remember, but Earl is a perfect role for him. Films about drugs tend to have high levels of violence and substance abuse. Suggested by a New York Times Magazine story, The Mule brings Eastwood back to acting for the first time since ; it also marks the first time he's directed himself since. If interested parties have time in their schedule, it might be worth the trip; otherwise, it'd be the ideal rental for a rainy day. For the rest of us, The Mule is a much more trying experience.
So I tip my hat to you, Clint. There's lots of footage of him driving and singing, interacting fearlessly with his new bosses and facing his domestic faults with sometimes tiresome dramatic moments. There are scenes of murder, assault, and tense police chases, but gore is minimal and the violence is neither gratuitous nor glamorized and serves to advance the story. Eastwood, even at his elder age, is charming enough to watch, in the way that watching your grandfather tell some raunchy jokes with wildly inappropriate language can be charming. Family is more important than work. Of course, the job is being the Illinois transporter, or mule, for a powerful Mexican drug cartel.
He does well—so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a Earl Stone Clint Eastwood is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. A few moments of cultural insensitivity. The Mule opens in theaters on December 14. The drug world story is given little weight -- there's no acknowledgement or discussion of the lives that drugs ruin -- but nonetheless, involvement with it comes with a price. Eastwood creates a sweet character with flaws: he's prioritized his job over his family, he's headstrong and he's gently-racist. It also doesn't hurt that Eastwood has assembled an all-star cast once again.
In fact, the two films are similar in a lot of ways: Both are based on true stories of old men who got away with crimes running drugs and robbing banks for much longer than they should have. Can you name another figure in the history of cinema whose presence is as strong as Clint Eastwood in his own directed movie? Earning the respect from many members of the Mexican Cartel, he becomes a little more entangled with the goings on than he had originally planned. Eastwood creates a sweet character with flaws: he's prioritized his job over his Director Clint Eastwood also stars as a kindly old man who haplessly ends up transporting drugs for a Mexican cartel. When a guest at her pre-wedding party approaches him with a proposal to make money driving, Earl — whose record is spotless after years on the road — quickly accepts. While this does contribute to the film finding its pleasant tone, it also saps it of having any real dramatic stakes, as Earl completes his work with minimal consequences or threats. By keeping the pacing up so well, the movie is completely immersive, and I only remembered I was in a movie because I had to take notes.
The divorce enables Earl to be somewhat of a ladies man. So why does the result feel so elusive and unsatisfying? This will not be a big hit, but Eastwood's laid back performance is quietly charming and sometimes even amusing. At a hotel bar celebration of his latest award at his latest convention, Earl suddenly remembers he promised his daughter, a single mother, that he would come to her wedding, but he shrugs it off and stays with his friends. Yves Belanger, a frequent collaborator, is the cinematographer. How will Earl get caught? All kidding aside, though, I was pleasantly surprised by this very original and engrossing, well-acted film.
Don Kaye is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist and associate editor of Den of Geek. Too much water has gone under the bridge for them. As it monochromatically slides from the crisp daylight of preparation to the woozy gloom of tunnels full of doomed soldiers, it becomes Eastwood's purest, least sentimental vision of his most longstanding themes. Earl has not one but two threesomes with buxom young women during this movie. Turning a ramshackle, cash-strapped wild west show run by convicts of all colors into a warmly funny vision of a be-who-you-want-to-be America, Eastwood serves up a conservative's vision of the country that's inclusive, patriotic, and able to laugh at itself.
It doesn't help that Eastwood works with a jumpy script. Yuri Orlov: You know who's going to inherit the Earth? So perhaps Earl is just really good at compartmentalizing. Aside from profanity, the biggest concern for parents will be brief sexual content which includes nudity. The Mule is based on the true story of Leo Sharp, who transported untold thousands of kilos of coke for the Sinaloa cartel well into his 80s. In , Dawyne Johnson plays a father who agrees to go undercover in a drug ring to save his son from an unjust drug trafficking conviction. Eastwood plays Earl Stone, a champion daylily grower in Peoria, Illinois. Feeling he has no choice but to continue, Earl rises through the ranks and is eventually summoned to meet the cartel leader.
The Mule milks the irony of the cartel hiring an older white man for this job: Bates and his partner Michael Peña are so busy looking for young Mexicans that they never suspect that this grizzled grandpa is their man. Earl was a bad husband and parent, but his redemption comes frightfully easily once he starts plying friends and family members with stacks of cash for weddings, tuition and medical bills. There are many many, many moments in which Earl rants about the kids and their cell phones these days. That man, sensing that Earl needs a job and hearing him talk about his spotless driving record, puts the old fellow in touch with members of a drug cartel transporting cocaine up from Mexico and across the U. Instead of admitting defeat, Earl is given a tip that he can get paid a lot of money just for driving around. Several years later, things only get worse for Earl when his business faces foreclosure, putting him out of work and hurting for money. And worthy -- or even deserving -- of forgiveness.
He does well -- so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. All the pieces would seem to be in place—on paper at least—for a rich and gripping grown-up drama. Just a nice road trip once a month, easy driving, listen to the radio -- see America! So, Earl enjoys his new job a little too much. These positive lessons are well integrated into the script and the movie. And fans can likely forgive him a few politically incorrect missteps. Instead, with no further mention of time running out, we cut to Earl arriving in Mexico to meet with the cartel head Andy Garcia and twerk endlessly with bikini-clad women at a pool party.