The Mule

muleWe should be grateful that Clint Eastwood is still around, and that he’s still making movies (really, between him and Ridley Scott, we’re given some sober reminders that the Old School can still hold their own at times). In The Mule he even puts himself in front of the camera, taking the lead for the first time since Gran Torino (I may be wrong there, but I think I have got that right). Its a curious thing seeing him in this. Sure, the years have weathered him and its alarming, seeing a screen icon such as he showing the toll of years just as we mere mortals do in the Real World.

Inevitably however, that status of screen icon, and all the cinematic history his face represents, can cast its own dark shade upon everything he now does. The Mule is a decent, efficient and entertaining film, but it is no classic, and while it is likely one of the better efforts of his later years, it cannot help but pale compared to his best films, his best roles- particularly those whose reputations lie more in what they represent than their actual quality. Against that kind of comparison, even the greats can falter.

So I’ll watch films like The Mule and be thankful that I have lived in a world and a time in which Clint Eastwood has plied his craft, both in front of and behind the camera, and while he may not equal the names like Jack Lemmon, Sergio Leone, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder or James Stewart,  still working today there are far lesser than he with greater status than they deserve- its just the way the world is. For my part I’ll just savour the films and the fact he’s still around. And as far as The Mule is concerned, it may not be anything astonishing or contain too many surprises, its still a welcome reminder of when films all had beginnings, middles and endings, and didn’t feel the need for capes and superpowers or CGI spectacle. Eastwood may be overshadowed by the decades of cinematic history behind him, but its a fine reminder of it too.


2 thoughts on “The Mule

  1. Tom

    This movie is also a fine reminder of the kind of father he has been. This story plays as a personal confession of his giving up Allison to adoption decades back, who only resurfaced for the promotion of The Mule to, I add with enormous yet justified cynicism, help promote long lost daddy’s new project. Clint Eastwood, go fuck yaself

  2. Pingback: The 2019 List: November – the ghost of 82

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