The Mule 4K/Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
The Mule is a 2018 crime film starring, produced, & directed by Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, & American Sniper). It’s based on The New York Times article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule” by Sam Dolnic.That story was written about the true events between Leo Sharp & the Sinaloa Cartel in 2011. It was adapted by Nick Schenk (Gran Torino, The Judge, & Narcos). Clint Eastwood also directed The 15:17 to Paris earlier in the year.It’s his first acting role since 2012. The budget was $50 million & it grossed $170.3 million at the box office worldwide!!!!
Earl Stone (played by: Clint Eastwood from The Man with No Name Trilogy, Dirty Harry franchise, Escape from Alcatraz, & In the Line of Fire) in his 80s is an award-winning horticulturist & Korean War veteran. His business went under & he is struggling financially now. He is estranged from his ex-wife Mary (played by: Dianne Wiest from The Lost Boys, Bullets Over Broadway, Edward Scissorhands, & The Birdcage) & daughter Iris (played by: Alison Eastwood from Black and White, Poolhall Junkies, Tightrope, & Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) for always putting work before family. He was never around for them & missed important events that damaged their personal relationships. His granddaughter Ginny (played by: Taissa Farmiga from American Horror Story, The Final Girls, Anna, & The Nun) is the only one that still like him & he promised to help pay for her upcoming wedding. Earl is desperate for money & he doesn’t want to ruin his only good relationship with his family take an unlikely job. He becomes a “mule” transporting cocaine through Illinois for a Mexican drug cartel. He ends up working with suspicious characters like Laton (played by: Andy Garcia from Ocean’s Eleven trilogy, The Untouchables, The Godfather: Part III, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, & Hoodlum), Julio (played by: Ignacio Serricchio from Lost in Space, Bones, Quarantine 2, & Bad Ass 2), Gustavo (played by: Clifton Collins Jr. from Westworld, Star Trek, Crank: High Voltage, & The Boondock Saints II), Emilio (played by: Robert LaSardo from Death Race, Nip/Tuck, Waterworld, & Wishmaster 2), Bald Rob (played by: Noel Gugliemi from The Fast and the Furious, Furious 7, Training Day, & Crank), & other dangerous cartel members.
After he successfully makes his first run, he thinks he’s done with it for good. He wants to get his life together so he tries it again & he starts to enjoy the cash too much after each job gets bigger. The cartel respects his hustle & they become friendly with him. They give him the name Tata & the boss Laton invites Earl to his home for a party. A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) task force lead by Special Agent (played by: Laurence Fishburne from CSI, Hannibal, Deep Cover, King of New York, & The Matrix franchise) is on their trail. He sends his top two agents Bates (played by: Bradley Cooper from Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1/2, The Hangover Trilogy, & A Star is Born) & Treviño (played by: Michael Peña from Ant-Man 1/2, CHIPS, Crash, & American Hustle) to hunt down the mules for the crime family. After working with a snitch, they know their every move & they are ready to put it an end to their deadly business. The cartel makes a change in leadership & the stakes become lethal for Earl when he chooses his family over his work. Can he survive the mess he got himself into????
Clint Eastwood once again proves that he can do anything. He’s doing some amazing work from both behind & in front of the camera these days. He already did a film right before this so he’s been keeping really busy at his age. The Mule is one of his best acting performances in a very long time. He had a top notch supporting cast that included Dianne Wiest, Taissa Farmiga, Andy Garcia, Clifton Collins Jr., Ignacio Serricchio, Laurence Fishburne, Bradley Cooper, & Michael Peña. The acting here is at a high level & it boosted the overall production value for the feature. It had some real funny moments mixed in with all the drama. I will say it’s a slow burn type of film, it takes awhile to get somewhere but it’s definitely worth the wait. I appreciate the character development & the build up to everything here. I seen it on opening day when it hit theaters & I think it actually gets better with repeat viewings. Yes, it’s about drugs & the cartel plus it stars the legendary Clint Eastwood but don’t expect all kinds of action with this one. It chooses it’s moments wisely & it’s effective that way. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros. This 2160p (2.40:1) transfer with HDR10 delivers great detail in every possible way. Since it kinda a road picture, there’s so many different locations here & the cinematography really captures the scenery. It has 3 different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, & Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the UHD. Like I said above, The Mule is not an action heavy film but the dialogue is very clean & the music sounds great on the tracks. Clint’s character spends lots of time driving so it’s the true highlight when it comes to the sound on this release. It also has a variety of subtitles which includes English SDH, French, Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, & Korean.
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros! None of these are on the 4K, they are all available on the blu ray disc. “Nobody Runs Forever: The Making of The Mule” is almost 11 minutes. It has interviews with director/lead actor Clint Eastwood, Andy Garcia, Ignacio Serricchio, Laurence Fishburne, Bradley Cooper, Michael Peña, Alison Eastwood, & various members of the production. They talk about how the project got put together. They said Clint was the perfect actor & director for this. Clint says the story really grabbed his attention & it’s something he’s never did before. He brings up working with his real life daughter on this. They chat about the chemistry between Clint Eastwood & Bradley Cooper. They all show their appreciation for the legend & talk about working with him. They bring up the difficulty of the flowers to keep a certain look for the film. They mention that Clint wore various clothes from his other films in this. Toby Keith “Don’t Let the Old Man In” Music Video. It also includes a slipcover, a digital code, & a blu ray copy of the release. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!