“That’s the problem with this generation – can’t open a fruit box without calling the internet,” 88-year-old Clint Eastwood’s character grumbles at a family with a flat tire. The father is trying to Google how to change the tire, but has no reception.
The legendary, unconventional actor and director has done his best to make an entertaining, adult crime film, for example by including the joke above. But the joke gets lost and that is symptomatic for a flat film that is actually trying to be too many different films at the same time.
Eastwood plays an unsympathetic, surly flower farmer who loses his house due to bankruptcy and becomes the unsuspected (because old-aged and white) drug mule for a network that is being watched by DEA agents. The Mule is not as disastrous as Eastwood’s last film, The 15:17 to Paris.
The script is blurry, but it is quite pleasant to see the grandpa working again. But The Mule never comes close to the same league as J. Edgar, Mystic River, or Unforgiven. If Eastwood wants to go out in style, he will just have to make another film.