The Movie: 8.7/10
I’m lucky to have watched movies since I was quite young, definitely watching things that were above my age range of appropriateness, yes. What that did was put movies in front of me like classic 70’s and 80’s flicks with dudes like Clint Eastwood. Make my day…and I right? 🙂
As I grew up (now 51 years old) I came to think that Eastwood has his hits and misses, just like everyone else. There are those Hollywood big players who often get a bit more credit than they deserve. They do a few excellent films, and that kind of carries them through the rest, and then through the end of their career they are still only known for those early successes. Clint Eastwood, he’s not one of those. Yes, he is overrated in some movies, that’s just how it goes. The thing is though, in the past 20 years he has directed so many good films it’s clear he didn’t just get lucky or have the right look nor is he a “one trick pony”.
In The Mule he plays an old man, OK, so he IS an old man, and he does kind of just act like he acts in real life, but for some reason it works. He decides to carry drugs for a very unpleasant cartel. At first I was afraid for his safety, but then after a while it was clear he knew what he was doing and he understood exactly what could happen if things went bad…and still he did what he wanted and in his own way. He’s a pretty serious character, unless he’s along driving his truck and happens to sing along with some old swing music:) As always he, Eastwood, commands your attention during his scenes. His character isn’t bold or brash or even very talkative, but he carries himself the way we would all want our Grandpa’s to.
What makes his character interesting is that it’s clear through the movie that he’s always been totally selfish. He traveled for his job but in the process neglected his wife and daughter, and continued to for the whole of their lives. He’s a hard man to admire, or to like, but he seems so real and honest it made me understand him and that made me really care about what was going to happen along the way.
Overall I would say The Mule is a really high quality, quiet movie you could enjoy on a rainy afternoon (and here in the Midwest at the moment that is a lot of afternoons!). If you need a fix of Dirty Harry, you know where to find him, Blockbusters:)
- Nobody Runs Forever: The Making Of The Mule (11 Minutes) – A short look at the making of the film with several interviews with Clint. You even get a look at his real life daughter and how she got involved in the movie.
- Toby Keith “Don’t Let The Old Man In” Music Video (3 Minutes)
- 4KUHD, Blu-ray & Digital Copy
Audio & Video: 8/10
Shot digitally in 2.8K resolution the up-scaled transfer used here is a great looking example of HDR material. The Mule looks sharp, has great color and shadow detail and never suffers from crush or banding. This is a pleasant presentation that preserves the theatrical presentation approved by Mr. Eastwood.
The DTS-HD 5.1 Master audio track is also impressive for a film with a quite ordinary talky soundtrack. The Mule is no superhero movie but the surround channels do open up on occasion when Clint turns on the radio in his car. This lossless mix is accurate and easy to listen to.
Overall Score /10