<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Clint Eastwood. Starring Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Dianne Wiest, Michael Pena, Laurence Fishburne, Taissa Farmiga, Alison Eastwood, Ignacio Serricchio, Andy Garcia

Running time: 1 hour 57 minutes


If it’s Clint Eastwood, it’s gotta be gritty and hard-hitting. But the 88 year-old-actor is past his action star days now. Still, he uses his doddering-old-man charm to get by in this rather prosaic story.

Drug Mules are people who get contraband (drugs) from one place to another safely for a fee. They take the risk of getting caught by the cops or getting killed by the drug lords if they don’t deliver the load safely and on time.


In The Mule, Eastwood plays Earl, a guy who loves flowers and gardening and spent his whole life on the road doing what he loved, but in the bargain forgetting about his wife (Dianne Wiest) and daughter (real life daughter Alison Eastwood). But the golden years of his life leave him alone and without a business. Redemption is the only option he has, and the God-given charm that has gotten him through life. His geriatric persona and quick-witted nature make him the perfect mule. Once he gets the hang of it, Earl can’t get enough. He buys a new truck, schmoozes with hot gals, and even tells his drug handler to get out of the business and go clean! If his local skating rink needs an overhaul, he makes another run.

Parallel to this story, we see DEA agents played by Laurence Fishburne, Bradley Cooper and Michael Pena trying desperately to catch a mule who’s been carrying more and more for a gregarious drug lord (Andy Garcia). That whole story is so mind-numbingly dumb and lacklustre though. What Fishburne is doing here I have no idea. Cooper manages to perform blindfolded in what must be his dullest performance ever.


It’s not meant to be a high-octane action film though. Subtlety and wit are the hallmarks of this film. Earl’s not a politically correct guy. But his generation grew up that way. He’s a genuinely nice guy and always has been. And it’s taken him time to realise that family means more than anything, even advising DEA agent Cooper about it.

The interplay between him and the thugs of the cartel is fun to watch at points but it does get a bit monotonous after a while. Clearly Eastwood’s days of being a bad ass are over, but he sure as hell is a great actor who may just yet have a role or two left to play and entertain us with. We’ll be lucky!


Like it? share with friends