The Mule (2018) Movie Review

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Nick Schenk (Screenplay) Sam Dolnick (Article)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Taissa Farmiga, Dianne Wiest, Michael Pena, Austin Freeman, Laurence Fishburne

Plot: A ninety-year-old horticulturist and Korean War veteran turns drug mule for a Mexican cartel.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Simple & Enjoyable

Story: The Mule starts as Earl Stone (Eastwood) a horticulturist that has spend too much of his life on the road away from his family, missing the major events in his family’s life. After he doesn’t cope with the changes in the market, he is left with nothing and looking like failing his granddaughter Ginny (Farmiga), only for her fiancée Mike (Freeman) offer him a chance to just drive.

With Earl taking the job, it turns out he has been transporting drugs, with Agent Colin Bates (Cooper) and Agent Trevino (Pena) trying to track down anyone smuggling drugs across the border. How long can Earl keep this up before he gets caught, even though he is spending the money on helping the community.

Thoughts on The Mule

Characters – Earl is a horticulturist, he has spent his whole life in this business, which has seen him sacrifice major family events, making him distant to most of his family. He loses his job and is given a chance to become a driver for a cartel, which he soon becomes the most successful in the industry he even gives the money back to the community he has seen struggle for years. Mary is the ex-wife that has finally become tired of the let downs that Earl has left the family with. Ginny is the granddaughter that has been promised money and doesn’t care as long as her grandfather is willing to be there for her on the big days. Agent Bates is fresh to the force he is tasked to try and stop the smuggling and spends most of the time trying to learn about the new mysterious mule for the cartel.

PerformancesClint Eastwood is a joy to watch in this film, he comes off like an everyday older person that just wants to be willing to help people around his life, even though he is filled with regret about his family life. Bradley Cooper doesn’t really get too much time to shine or do anything in his role, while the rest of the cast don’t seem to get that much time to show off their characters.

StoryThe story here that follows a retirement aged, he has worked his whole life and ends up becoming a drug mule for a cartel, which sees him becoming one of the most wanted men in America. This is based on a real man that took this role because he enjoyed driving, he isn’t like anybody else they have worked for, but his style makes him harder to track down. The story does use the themes of regretting losing time in life which is clear in the behaviour from Earl along the way. We do have a few plot holes with how the cartel carry out their jobs, because this just seems to end, without any consequences, why would they give up the success they were having too.

CrimeThe crime side of the film does feel like just somebody casually taking part in the drug mule business, he is only ever put to a test once he needs to decide his own future.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the locations that Earl stops along the way, which does make him harder to track.


Scene of the Movie – The last run.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing seems to happen to the cartel.

Final Thoughts This is an easy to watch crime story that shows just how one person can casually commit crimes without anybody noticing them.

Overall: Easy Watch.

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