THE MULE (2018)


Directed By: Clint Eastwood
Written By: Nick Schenk
Inspired by the New York Times Magazine Article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year Old Drug Mule” by: Nick Soloman
Cinematography: Yves Balenger
Editor: Joel Cox 

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Dianne Wiest, Taissa Farminga, Clifton Collins Jr., Bradley Cooper, Michael Pena, Alison Eastwood, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, Lobo Sebastian, Victor Rasuk, Robert LaSardo, Eugene Cordero, Ignaccio Serricchio 

The movie was inspired by the story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran in his 80s who became the world’s oldest and most prolific drug mule for the Sinaloa Cartel.

Clint Eastwood is A man who always seems sturdy but also manages to shock people with an artistic vest and temperament. He always looks like he cuts corners from the usual blockbusters and focus more on moments even if at times he seems to cut certain moments short. As the editing can be a little sharp and short.

He is a star who has always fascinated and held Interests over the years as an institution who sometimes appears taken for granted. Then always looks to do something that is surprising but on his own terms that could be seen as underwhelming to some to a degree but playing by his own rules and pace. Though when studios try to advertise audiences expect the usual and unconventional. Though his greatest strength is that he has gifted films and audiences so much over the years with characters and films he Directed as well as being an icon. He really doesn’t owe anybody anything at this point.

We watch as his travels bring him across a cross section of America where we see Americana or the Midwest at least.

Though we learn more about the people he comes Into contact with rather then the cops chasing him and the biggest names co-star. Who we learn at least a little about him being their previous director on different projects helps to explain why they accepted such small roles in this film and such standard roles.

The film is more an obvious star vehicle for Mr. Eastwood. While also another swan song that seems fitting.

There is an initial disappointments with the film as it might be because it is played and presented more as a thriller especially in it’s trailer and ends up more a drama a more sentimental one that tries to impart a life lessons and point of view of a character and situations. Rather than a crime thriller which seems to be a habit lately with Clint Eastwood. He Simpilizes the plots of genres and tries to be a bit subversive as most of the time his films while not technically visually that stylistic. They more boil down to performances and character that play up the drama of the situations. As he films fast and quick.

Again the film tries to impart a few life lessons. Shockingly he has a more liberal and open approach for this movie. Even though he is a noted republican and sometimes imparts more Conservative views.

The film runs smoothly until A third act that quickly becomes shockingly cliche and sentimental that the film has been building to but comes fast and feels a little out of place and brief actually.

While not a glowing performance from Mr. Eastwood nor is the film all that special. Which won’t necessarily catch too many people’s attention. It is a film that while not strong is entertaining and makes you appreciate Clint Eastwood none the less.

It’s a shame that some of the Hispanic actors are character actors who seem stuck in films such as these playing the usual stereotypical gangsters and criminals. Even though seeing them in other films you get to know their dramatic range like Lobo Sebastian who has played memorable roles in 187 but also a more comedic one in TROJAN WAR. Where he gave one of the best performances in the film

It’s ironic that the cartels downfall is by following the rules. Which when more loose and free wheeling they avoided detection. Showing they if there are some loosening of rules the job can still get done and make everybody involved happy.

It’s also about the working man and importance of family. As the cartel other then the more menacing ones all about business showcase a level of not only humanity but camaraderie as like co-workers getting to know one another. Not necessarily forced into that situation but the only way to make enough money to live and survive. Quickly and not demonized when they Are treated and seen as suspects anyway so they might figure might as well fit the image.


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