Eastwood takes centre stage
17 February 2019 | Art and Entertainment
In The Mule, Eastwood portrays Earl Stone, an elderly horticulturalist who puts his work before everything else, fracturing his relationship with his family. Most infamously, he misses his daughter Iris's (Alison Eastwood) wedding, opting instead to attend an industry convention where he receives an award. Several years later, things get worse for Earl when his business faces foreclosure, putting him out of work and hurting for money. Estranged from his ex-wife Mary (Diane Wiest) and Iris, Earl has no place to go.
While attending a party, Earl is approached by a man who claims to know people that will give him work simply for driving his truck. Feeling that it is simple enough, Earl unknowingly becomes a drug mule for a cartel, transporting large amounts of cocaine to drop-off sites and earning substantial money. But as Earl begins to enjoy the fruits of his labour, the DEA looks to crack down on the cartel operation, with agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper) eager to make a significant bust by tracking down the one the cartel calls Tata.
According to online reviewing site Screen Rat, The Mule's greatest asset is Eastwood himself, as the Hollywood legend proves that even at the age of 88, he can still carry a film on his shoulders and be an entertaining presence. His Earl is a deeply flawed individual, but Eastwood is able to make him a likable protagonist, being both amusing and poignant, depending on what the scene calls for. Especially early on, Eastwood leans into the oddity of Earl's situation, and there's much fun to be had during the sequences where Stone is on the road, singing old pop tunes and marvelling at his sudden change of fortune. If you are an Eastwood fan and have time, it might be worth the trip; otherwise, it'd be the ideal rental for a rainy day. WE gives it 3 out of 5.
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