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It’s not something we don’t all already know. But what a remarkable career Clint Eastwood has had not only as an actor but as a director. From his first film as a director “Play Misty For Me” in 1971 through “Unforgiven” (1992), “Mystic River” (2003), “Million Dollar Baby” (2004), “Flags of our Fathers/Letters from Iwo Jima” (2006) and “Sully” (2016), to name just some of the highlights. It would take days to talk Eastwood’s career.
Clint Eastwood is back in his first credited acting role since “Trouble with the Curve” in 2012, and his first time since “Gran Torino” in 2008 (10 years ago), that he both acted in and directed a film. This makes his newest starring, producing and directing film “The Mule”, his 40th feature behind the camera and gajillionth in front of it. After spending the last few years, just as filmmaker/actor Peter Berg was. Eastwood had filmed a trilogy of heroism with his biggest box office success “American Sniper”, “Sully” and “The 15:17 to Paris”. “The Mule” is a star vehicle for 88 year old actor/director Clint Eastwood who is in nearly every scene and who can still command the screen. The movie was inspired by the story of Leo Sharp (whose name has been changed to Earl Stone for the film). A World War II veteran in his late 80s who became the world's oldest and most prolific drug mule for the Sinaloa Cartel.
I’m not sure how accurate of a depiction Eastwood’s Earl is to the real Leo. As he is shown to like a strong drink, enjoys a pulled pork sandwich, loves to tell corny jokes, spurts out racist comments without really knowing it and he’s such a ladies’ man that he has two threesomes. Man this guy knows how to party and have fun! That’s not all. Earl lives life on the edge because he has become the top courier (“a Mule”), for a branch of the Mexican drug cartel, regularly delivering packages in excess of 100 plus kilos of cocaine within the States.
As a drug mule he was deemed a “legend,” as a law enforcement official had put it in the New York Times Magazine article, by Sam Dolnick that serves as the basis for the film. •MOVIE REVIEW CONTINUED BELOW•