This was so much better than anticipated. Most Clint films of late are rather exhausting. Him being such a “star” that he has a hard time toning it down. But here he looks his fragile age with a very good splash of “kiss my ass”. A strong cast rounds the experience out.
The thriller is a tender, conflicted, and sometimes very funny meditation on what America conditions people to want for themselves — on how natural it can be to forget who you are in a country where work is an identity unto itself.
The Mule thrives in teasing ambiguity…For decades now, Eastwood has been one of the great interrogators of American social mores.
Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He does well — so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler.
But he isn’t the only one keeping tabs on Earl; the mysterious new drug mule has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.
Inspired by a Sam Dolnick article in the New York Times Magazine called “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule,” about Leo Sharp. Sharp was an award-winning horticulturist and decorated WWII veteran known for his prized day lilies when he was busted for running drugs for Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, and sent to prison at the age of 90. He was transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Michigan in his beat-up old pickup truck when he was arrested by the DEA. Sharp was sentenced to just three years after his lawyer argued that his client’s dementia sent him down the wrong path.
USA 2018, 116 min, rated M (offensive language & nudity)
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Clint Eastwood, Dianne Wiest, Andy Garcia, Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Taissa Farmiga, Alison Eastwood & Michael Peña