Verdict: 2 / 5
This film, initially called The Mule and later Border Run in the USA, claims to be based on true events. It is unclear how much you can claim is based on real events, as this rather vague claim can be more founded on the fact that there is human trafficking and drug mules across the Mexico/USA border as opposed to a real life story.
Undoubtedly, most stories are based on true events, either from the writer’s personal experience, an experience of someone close to them, or one clearly expressed in a book. When you read the blurb of The Mule you anticipate a gritty hard hitting drama that redeems the rich and uplifts the poor. Such a story deserves to be told well.
Sofie Talbert (Sharon Stone) a hard headed journalist discovers that her brother Aaron (Billy Zane), who has been working for Border Relief Efforts on the Mexican/US Border, has gone missing. Her journalistic instincts send her on a journey into Mexico to find him and when she discovers that she will get no help from the local police, she sets out to find him herself. The route to find her brother takes her down a sinister path of violence and human drug trafficking as she becomes one of the very people her brother seeks to assist.
The whole presentation of this film is deceiving, down to the fact that the DVD cover has Sharon Stone as a blond where as in the film she is a brunette. There is some major negligence in the telling of this story and the proof is in the pudding. (Unfortunately this pudding seems to have fallen on the gravel floor, trampled and then dished up as a fine dessert).
The story line, even though there is some merit in it, does not flow well and in the end doesn’t make much sense. Just when the story begins to get momentum there are scenes that grind it to a halt and almost change its genre. They seem to hope that the audience will suddenly have an emotional connection with the characters by adding an awkward romance and inappropriate emotional scenes, and that this will in some way bring the story to a better conclusion or show the redemption of a character – it’s a frustrating cheap shot.
Everyone from cast to crew are responsible for making this potentially powerful piece into a second-rate film. Sharon Stone looked old, tired and dare I say, haggard. It had me screaming: Why did no one fix her hair!