Plot not able to make film’s day

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Clint Eastwood stars as Earl Stone in The Mule, which he also directed and produced.
Camera IconClint Eastwood stars as Earl Stone in The Mule, which he also directed and produced.

Clint Eastwood is back on the big screen not as some cold hearted lawman, but a frail failure of a family man who gets mixed up with the wrong crowd.

After failing at pretty much everything possible regarding his family, Earl Stone (Eastwood) is determined to try and right a few wrongs before his time runs out... by becoming a drug mule for the Mexican Cartel.

Oblivious at first, he becomes so good at his job he begins to attract the attention of the DEA with agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper) determined to catch the man trafficking hundreds of kilograms of drugs a month.

Straight off the bat, special mention has to go to Eastwood for his portrayal of the elderly Earl Stone.

Yes, Eastwood is approaching 90 so it may not have been that hard, but it was refreshing to see him in a slightly different role to usual... i.e. vulnerable, but still retaining that classic bitterness.

At a shade under two hours, this is not a particularly long movie but starts to feel it after the halfway mark with the audience hardly rewarded for the wait.

The only real sense of tension or excitement is trying to work out who will get to Stone first, the DEA or the Cartel enforcers, and even then that is caused by the sheer length of the wait to find out, perhaps bordering on impatience.

Most of the acting from the main cast is quite good aside from some slightly over-done melodramatics from the Stone family members, leaving the dragging plot as the biggest hurdle for audiences to overcome.

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