A director-writer pally has seen Clint Eastwood‘s The Mule, and shared the following:

“I can confide this is B-level Eastwood in the tradition of Gran Torino — a star vehicle for the aging actor and compelling because of his iconic presence and star lineage.

“It’s also in the tradition of Space Cowboys in that it’s a well-made programmer with a certain emotional resonance based on longtime feelings about a star whose career is probably near the end.

“Seeing Eastwood play an actual old man is somewhat jarring to see — to his credit. Think of The Shootist in John Wayne‘s canon.

The Mule isn’t as elegiac as Unforgiven, but is much more compelling than, say, Trouble With The Curve.

Bradley Cooper adds some contemporary resonance as it’s compelling to see a current triple threat pursuing an older auteur, lending a unique subtext.

“And yes, there’s a song — ‘Don’t Let The Old Man In’ by Toby Keith.”