Brian Anonymous
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My Review of 'The Mule'

Clint Eastwood's latest movie. It has all of the things we're used to in a Clint Eastwood movie. This is what I thought of it.

I was a little apprehensive when my girlfriend suggested watching The Mule. I didn't know much about it, but if it's a Clint Eastwood movie I think I've probably seen it already. Usually his movie's are based off some real life situation where there's some self sacrifice at the very end to get the audience to feel for the main character. 

Despite my reluctance, I decided to watch it anyways, and I was surprisingly not disappointed. Yes, it's the same old Clint Eastwood  formulaic movie, but the execution of this one was pretty good. Usually people don't find a second career so late in their life, but Clint Eastwood continues to surprise me. 

Of course, this movie is based off of a true story. It's about this old man that basically becomes a drug mule for a large drug cartel. In his past, he used to be in the flower business, but couldn't keep up with the change in business technology and soon he became obsolete. Money pressures all around him forced him to get a job running drugs for the cartel. 

It's kind of a screwy plot, but it works. Apparently this is based off of a true story, so I can't argue the plot when the situation actually happened in real life. 

Clint Eastwood does the usual racial banter with acquaintances that he meets along his travels across America. The racial stories have changed this time around. He addresses the diversity of people he encounters across America. Not only does he find different races, but there are different sexual orientations as well. Racism, gender norms, and prejudice are lightly addressed in this movie. It's done in an interesting way where you can see that all parties involved are not really that bad. Despite the fact there are no bad guys I can see what the characters are thinking and I can empathize with them. I understand how each of the characters can view another character as an adversary. I guess he's trying to say we all have our guards up, but we don't really have to. There is one scene where they talk about social profiling, but he doesn't really dive into the issue that much. 

I like what he did with a lot of the spontaneous encounters he has during the cross country trips across the United States. It's kind of a breath of fresh air, even though he is still following the same movie formula he's been doing for years. It also helps develop his friendships with the cartel he's working for. 

Ultimately this is a movie about family. He dives into the relationship of the mule and his family. How he preferred the prestige of the community over any prestige he would have gotten from his own family had he stuck with them instead. In a way there's a lot of that still in today's society. We can forget what's important to us. Accolades from the community is great but you don't go home to them in the end. 

I enjoyed this movie from start to finish. It's too bad that I have a biased opinion of Clint Eastwood movies from watching his formulaic films over the years. I've been jaded but I can appreciate what he's done with this movie. 

Overall as a movie, I think Clint Eastwood has done a great job with this one. I think a ton of people should see it because it really is quite entertaining. As for the progression of his craft I am a little disappointed that he's following a formula, although he has been honing his formula for good entertainment. I have to give this movie an eight out of 10. I think those that haven't watched many Clint Eastwood movies should definitely watch this. Those that have you might still want to check it out, but be warned it is very predictable.