Narrator: The Mule (2018) with Clint Eastwood is a remake of the 2014 film, also called The Mule starring Hugo Weaving, this is just the testament of how Hollywood is running out of ideas, and how anything could become a remake despite how recent the movie has released...
Narrator: It’s not a remake? So, is it a reboot?
Narrator: What how? But they are both called “The Mule.” Wouldn’t it be confusing if two separate films just shared the same name, that would be like a company other than Marvel naming their movie "The Avengers".
Narrator: There’s a British spy T.V. show called “The Avengers”?!! whatever, I’m reviewing the 2018 Mule since it’s the only one I watched.
The Film stars Clint Eastwood, an ancient and classic star who serves as a living fossil of the western film era, that he could star in the next Jurassic world movie as the dinosaur. He plays his alter ego, Earl Stone, a man who does not value his family’s and neglects them to his own selfish indulgences, to the point that his own wife and daughter wouldn’t go to his granddaughter own Wedding if he was present(oof). At 90, jobless Earl is evicted from his home but gains the opportunity to work as a delivery driver on delivering a mysterious package (spoilers: cocaine) to certain locations, as he becomes a mule (he doesn’t turn into the animal, unfortunately.) for the cartel.
Meanwhile, Luis (Michael Pena) and Goliath guy (Laurence fishburne) from ant-man with Jackson Maine from a star is born (Bradley cooper) become DEA agents. (Unemployment drastically decreased as open positions and promotions immediately happened after the Thanos snap, but then again half of employment was also snapped off.) Their characters are investigating the cartel and its successful mule under the codename called TaTa who is surprise, Earl Jones. Earl is slowly and unknowingly being descended by these DEA agents while he is threatened to follow the Cartels strict rules and schedule if he doesn't want to make his maker sooner than planned.(Maker being his dead mother, and by extension his dad. thats what meeting your maker is, right?)
The film directed, produced and starring Clint Eastwood isn’t very action packed (though wouldn’t be surprised that Clint would be pulling a Tom Cruise, and do his own stunts.) It’s a character drama based on a true story of a 90-year-old mule. The movie in concept is interesting but just remains at its own steady, slow, pace, like Earl's driving. It isn’t exhilarating, not because of action, but because the movie doesn’t challenge its message of family vs. work, or integration of more character development on Earl. I mean he isn’t bland or one dimensional, he loves gardening, has a sassy, sarcastic, mouth,(which lends to the films humor), has traveled around most states, and tries to be a lovely, altruistic person with others,(he even tries bonding with the cartel), and still has his prevalent flaw of not being present for his family.
But still, that flaw is not thoroughly explored of why he is willing to forsake his family, and his transition into becoming a needed present family figure seems rushed as not many significant events that should show him slowly becoming more integrated into his family life (I can only name four times within the film, that he tries to attend a family event, but they lack any meaning since they don't highlight Earls possible changing nature, or show Earl persistence and trend of actually attending all family matters, or how this man is changing for the better with Earl trying to ask for forgiveness and to make up for his past sins).
In the conclusion of the film, Earl makes a mind boggling decision(which I will not reveal in the review) that I think comes as a unnecessary consequence. While that said decision would seems noble at first, he indirectly forsakes being in the company of his family, in what will be his last living days, (not Clint Eastwood though, he still has some centuries left) which in my opinion undermines the film's message of family vs. duty, where Earl decides only for his own honor. I just wish that the film developed the old man’s relationship more with his family, there should be a bigger struggle to reconnecting with them, and more emphasis should have been placed of why he was so initially willing to not be there for them, and why he did that decision that cost him his (its a spoiler, so don't read between the line if you haven't seen it, FIRIEIEIDIOIM) at the end of the film.
As of now, the movie is pretty decent, not good or great, but not even horrible, bad, or even mediocre. It does have entertainment value, with nice cinematography, Audio, Editing, etc. while its actors especially Clint Eastwood breathe life to their characters, which is enough to warrant a sitting for the film(unless you watch films standing) but it isn’t a movie that thought provokes the audience or would stick with the viewer in the long term. Even with all that said, I would recommend to watch the film, (even if it does execute its message weakly), of an elder mule delivering drugs while he has to choose on what he should prioritize in his late stages of life, as he drives his worn, old truck (or the shiny new truck) on the road. 6.5/10
(You know, now I'm interested in seeing that 2014 Mule movie, with Hugo weaving. Who knows, I could make another review on another Mule movie.)