Arriving on Blu-Ray this week is the Australian crime film “The Mule”, which not only plays out more like a dark comedy, but also inspired by true events. This is a title that I missed out on last year at SXSW which I really wanted to see. Finally, I got my chance and I must admit, aside from one major gag-inducing sequence that comes later in the film, “The Mule” is quite fun.
Set in 1983, Ray Jenkins (Angus Sampson) is a naive television repair man, who is talked into joining his long-time friend Gavin Ellis (Leigh Whannell) on a trip to Bangkok in order to transport drugs back to Australia. As drug mules, they must put the drugs in little balloons and digest them in order to get through customs undetected. The only reason Ray agreed to this is because a local crime boss (John Noble) is owed quite a bit of money by Ray’s mom and stepfather.
Things go very wrong when Ray is held under suspicion by Detective Les Paris (Ewen Leslie) and his partner Detective Tom Croft (Hugo Weaving). They believe Ray has the drugs in his stomach but with their suspect refusing to take an x-ray, they must wait until Ray goes number two. We spend a majority of time in the hotel room that Ray is being held in for seven days, and no matter how much he is suffering, he will not let those drugs exit his system. This of course leads to some nasty stuff later on.
“The Mule” is really twisted and though it’s not a comedy, the situation did make me laugh. I absolutely loved the cast, including Sampson, who co-directed it with Tony Mahony. Make sure to check this one out.
By: Marc Ferman