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The trailer made this seem like it had a lot more suspense and action than what I saw. This was pretty tame for an Eastwood film and a little below-average compared to his other work. Clint Eastwood has some great "grandpa" moments with his un-PC insults and unfiltered dialogue. A handful of familiar actors extends the cast (Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne) but play very toned down and generic characters.
I think the film might have symbolized the hanging of his acting/directing hat - he's getting pretty old.
If that's the case The Mule is not what I would consider a strong farewell piece - I think he's got one or two more in him and he is capable of doing much better.
A basically good film, but I am bothered by two things: 1. (SPOILER) I would have liked a aftertext that explained how long he was "inside", if he died inside, if the cartel continued to search, etc.). 2. If, as a large cartel, you smuggle drugs for millions of dollars, can you not afford to change cars for every new drive? The producers should have noticed the latter when they cut the film - one illogical gap, ie.
Lots of phoned in performances and unnecessary family drama but still enjoyable. Old grandpa Clint being surrounded with primarily hispanic populace is a recipe for greatness. The thing that annoyed me to no end was the fact that a cartel who's pushing hundreds of millions worth of coke per run, couldn't afford a car swap after each run. Seems like a nobrainer to keep the DEA off your track.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #18 in Cahiers du Cinéma's Annual Top 10 Lists
This movie ranks #970 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Worldwide Box Office