The Mule Movie Review 2019: Eastwood Still Provides A High

The Mule Movie Review 2019: Eastwood Still Provides A High

Movie Name
The Mule
Clint Eastwood
Crime, Thriller, Drama
01 hours 56 minutes

The Mule Review

Age has been kind to 88-year-old Clint Eastwood. Dirty Harry may have hit the bigtime with a limited range of expressions and an unlimited supply of guns, especially in theDollars Trilogy ofSpaghetti Westerns. But the range of films like Gran Torino and Sully that Eastwood directed even in his late 70s and 80s, has put him in the bracket of a much-respected filmmaker-actor.The Mule was thus much looked forward to.

Thin with stooped shoulders, life has whizzed past 90-year-old horticulturist Earl Stone. While he was busy sniffing the flowers and skipping family functions to hang out with buddies and ladies, the internet and social media have happened and taken over the world. By the time he peeps out at the new world, his business has been run to the ground by far better internet options. And the banks are foreclosing on his house.

90 is no age to start life for a guy who can't even text a message but if there's one thing Earl Stone can do, it's drive a four-wheeler. With not even a parking ticket in his name, Stone's the ideal mule for the drug cartel, a carrier the DEA won't even suspect.

Stone does it for the money, first to pay for his granddaughter's fees, then to take care of a war veteran's hangout. There are enough excuses to keep doing another run and the boss is pleased. A 90-year-old gringo is so off the radar that Stone passes under the nose of tough Agent Bates who's looking for a mule nicknamed Tata (Grandpa in Spanish) without arousing suspicion.

Clint who always flashes a glint of violence, like the last scene of Gran Torino, is this time more about flowers, money, music and making up with estranged family than taking on anybody. It's as if he's decided to age non-violently even in a theme where thugs rule.

But it's not disappointing watching him do that becauseEarl Stone is still interestingly unconventional. A self-absorbed guy who does as he pleases, leaving wife and daughter to pretty much take care of themselves, his generous dad-and-husband turn is also no great redemption because you know where the money's coming from. And he does revel in the booze and broads the boss provides by the poolside. In fact, the high on cash Stone even accepts a handler without a whimper.

But there's still that edginess of a man who marches to his own beat. Like when he veers off the route to go spend time with his ailing wife or stops off to help a black American couple. Between the thugs who're fed up of him, a boss who's violently replaced and Agent Bates who's closing in on him, Earl Stone's drug running has its thrills.

With Bradley Cooper as Bates and Andy Garcia as the cartel boss, there's enough star power around too. A cop and mule meeting in a coffee shop has all the swagger and stimulation you'd want from a guy who's unfazed by fate catching up with him.

Eastwood's direction betrays no age-fatigue as Stone sings along with the radio on his long drives, turning jaunty as the mood revvs up, the wealth showing in gradual changes like a spiffier car. There's also some real good background music and enough predictable mush with the ex-wife for those who want it.

Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.


  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

Even without the gunfights, The Mule which was inspired by an article on a real-life nonagenarian mule, is an absorbing watch.
For a film that has cops and drugs and thrills along the way, The Mule gets a 3* rating.


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