Viewed – 30 January 2019
The last time I watched legendary actor Clint Eastwood would probably be Gran Torino, a movie which has become one of my favourites. So sitting down to this was with some anticipation and well, would such an actor put himself back in front of the camera again (considering he’s also a respected director) for anything less that something worthwhile? Let’s see.
Eastwood plays Earl, an elderly man who has spent much of his life missing out on important events with his family in favour of growing his horticulture business. Yet when he falls on hard times and age seems to be finally taking it’s toll, he attempts to reconnect with his loved ones. However when attending his granddaughter’s engagement party he is approached by a guy offering him the chance to make some money. All he has to do is drive – something Earl is very experienced in.
This gently observed and absorbing story is anchored by a wonderfully nuanced performance from Eastwood who turns a self-centred, world-weary character into a loveable, charming man who’s adept at turning even the riskiest situation to his favour. The way he gets in the good books of ruthless Mexican drug dealers, who go from threatening him to befriending him is just a joy to watch. Add to this the growing relationship he builds with his estranged family, and I was totally invested in what was going on. Bradley Cooper is on board as a dedicated DEA agent and Diane Weist (remember her?) plays Eastwood’s ex wife.
One character development later in the movie is a touch cliched and some ideas feel a bit out of place despite the humour intended (Eastwood and some hookers?), yet the story expertly juggles an increasingly deadly scenario with emotional and heart-felt family drama that really got in the feels. A must watch.
Verdict: 5 /5