Melissa’s Review: ‘The Mule’ shows the gross inventiveness of desperation

TheMule_Poster_5What an awesome poster. It conveys the movie perfectly. I first saw The Mule at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, covering for It was one of the films that I had on my watchlist that I was able to see and I was delighted by it’s odd deliver and captivating journey. Star, co-writer and co-director, Angus Sampson is Ray Jenkins, a man who’s got himself in quite a predicament. He must not poop.

It’s 1983. A naive man with lethal narcotics hidden in his stomach is detained by Australian Federal Police. Alone and afraid, ‘the Mule’ makes a desperate choice; to defy his bodily functions and withhold the evidence…literally. And by doing so becomes a “human time-bomb,” dragging cops, criminals, lawyers and his mother into his impossible escapade. Inspired by true events.

How does someone get themselves in a position where pooping would be the end of their life? It’s simple, yet complicated, as you might expect. Ray and those around him are all waiting for the inevitable and as time passes, more and more about the circumstances are uncovered.

Hugo Weaving is devilish as the cop trying get the truth. His treatment of Ray is at times comedicly tortuous, relentless and childish. The real performance is Angus Sampson. He takes the character to nasty and dirty places that have rarely been seen on screen.

This is truly one of those films where the journey is so much better knowing what must happen. The question is, how? With fantastic dialogue, uncomfortable disgustingness and terrifying action, I was totally captivated from beginning to end in this slow-burning Australian treat.

Sure, you could watch the trailer, but I recommend watching this NSFW swearing clip will make your decision.

The Mule is now playing in select theaters and available to rent/buy on demand. As of this post, the best deal is on iTunes to rent HD $4.99 or buy HD $12.99. Some of the prices changed on GoWatchIt, so always check other sources before buying.

  • HUGO WEAVING – best known as “Agent Smith” from the Matrix films; also starred as “Elrond” in The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • JOHN NOBLE – currently plays “Henry Parrish” in Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow;” also known for playing “Dr. Walter Bishop” on the hit Fox show “Fringe”
  • GEORGINA HAIG – currently plays “Elsa” in the ABC hit series “Once Upon a Time” and “Lee Anne Marcus” in the CBS series “Reckless”
  • ANGUS SAMPSON (Actor, Co-Director, Co-Writer) – best known as “Tucker” from the Insidious franchise
  • LEIGH WHANNELL (Actor, Co-Writer) – best known as “Specs” from the Insidious franchise and as “Adam” from the Saw franchise – Also he’s the writer/creator of the SAW (10 year anniversary this year) and INSIDIOUS franchises.
CAST:  Hugo Weaving, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Ewen Leslie. Georgina Haig and John Noble
WRITERS: Leigh Whannell & Angus Sampson and Jaime Browne
DIRECTOR: Angus Sampson and Tony Mahony
GENRE:  Thriller

About Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson aka Dial M For Melissa - Managing Editor / Podcast Producer - Growing up, Melissa’s favorite destination was always the video store and would agonize over whether to watch something new or to rewatch a favorite. Things have not changed. Follow on Twitter @DialMForMelissa

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