The Mule - This Old Man And The Coke Movie Quietly Rocks
Dir: Clint Eastwood
Starring Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Dianne Wiest, Michael Pena, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia
The Mule sees Clint Eastwood in front of the camera for the first time in many a year, and fully embracing every wrinkle and hard drawn line of his 88 years. As a curmudgeonly, cantankerous old man (stretch!) name of Earl Stone, Eastwood the actor brings a surprising level of sensitivity to a man, estranged from his family and finding himself delivering increasingly large amounts of cocaine for “the cartel” (there’s always a cartel.)
Based on a true story, this is not Eastwood the filmmaker at his strongest. But it has a lot to offer nonetheless. True it’s saddled with an FBI subplot that wastes Pena, Fishburne and Eastwood acolyte Cooper, and meanders more than drives full steam ahead, but Eastwood’s performance is spot on. Comparisons with Redford’s recent The Old Man And The Gun are inevitable (and justified.) But The Mule is less a final swansong and more an incidental part of the journey.
That said, the scenes between Eastwood and his ex-wife Dianne Wiest are pure magic and just about worth the price of admission alone.
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