The Mule

Time Out Dubai - - FILM -

CLINT EASTWOOD LIKES to tell the story about how, in the early 1980s, he pur­chased the screen­play of what would be­come Un­for­given, shelv­ing it for a decade un­til he’d “aged a lit­tle” and could carry the role’s the­matic guilt. So why is it now that the ac­tive star-di­rec­tor has be­come 88 years old (im­pres­sive in it­self), he re­treats into glib, un­der­de­vel­oped dreck like The Mule? The plot, based on a news-of-the-weird New York Times Mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle from 2014, con­cerns a 90-year-old black mar­ket run­ner, here re­named Earl Stone, who avoided de­tec­tion by be­ing such an un­likely target. Clint Eastwood looks the part, but loses the fo­cus that’s el­e­vated so much of his self-di­rected work. Joshua Rothkopf

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