So here we have Clint Eastwood at 88 (playing 90) both acting and directing, with no sign that he's about to pack it all in. It must make Robert Redford who, at a relatively youthful 82, and last year announcing that he's over with acting, wondering if he unwisely jumped the gun. (Why, even Prince Philip is still driving, and he's 97!)
Despite its subject of drug trafficking, this is an unassuming film , one might even say almost 'gentle', and far from what one used to expect of Eastwood in most of his career of 'hard-man' portrayals.
Whilst not particularly exceptional, it's certainly not at all bad. (Btw: I appreciate that there are those who steadfastly refuse to see any film involving Eastwood because of his well-known political stances. I manage to put that out of my mind when watching).
At the start he plays the owner of a horticultural business (he specialises in lilies) which hits hard times and has to fold. Without work and income, for which he's desperate, he's told that he can make money by simply doing some driving of a delivery within Illinois. Jumping at the chance he agrees to take a small mystery cargo as required and he gets handsomely paid, assuming that it had been a one-off consignment. But he's asked to do it again - and again - his recompense increasing each time. It takes some time for him to cotton on to what his deliveries are, despite his working for youngish, male Mexicans - all Spanish-speakers, of course. Either that or he mentally blocks it out - and soon he's up to his ears in the world of contraband.
Without knowing that Eastwood is involved, the police boss (Laurence Fishburn) has suspicions of something untoward going on and assigns a Senior Drug Enforcement Officer (Bradley Cooper playing quite restrained - for him - and looking hot in the way only he can!) to find out what it is and to close it down.
Meanwhile the wife (Dianne Wiest) of the Eastwood character who's become distanced to her husband complains about his long absences from the family, and they have a few heart-to-heart scenes together.
There's a little bit of violence, but no full-on sustained scenes, and what there is is depicted fairly low-key.
Some may justifiably blanch at a brief scene when Eastwood meets the grateful instigator of the drug-traffic (Andy Garcia) and as a 'treat' spends the night with two shapely female forms, each under a quarter of his own age! Thankfully, we don't actually see any bedroom 'action'; it's all by implication.
Eastwood looks and moves about as the age he is playing, so there's no complaints about that. The film's suspense derives from not knowing to what extent the Mexican drug cartel can trust him and will they decide that he is dispensable? And, of course, will the cops catch up with him and what will the result of that be?
Exemplary acting throughout, just as it ought to be with such a strong cast.
I wouldn't class this as a 'must-see' film but it is entertaining enough with no glaring faults or, as far as I can make out, nothing to turn one off from making the effort to try it. More than just 'satisfactory'................6.5.
(IMDb................7.2 / Rott. Toms............6.1 )
28 minutes ago