Friday Film Review--"Cry Macho"
“Cry Macho” sounds like a rip-off spaghetti Western from the Seventies that couldn’t afford to hire Clint Eastwood.
Paradoxically, the story is feel-good and familiar, about a crusty oldster gradually bonding with a confused adolescent.
And yet—how often will you see a Hollywood legend directing and starring in a movie at age 91?
As an actor in this film, Eastwood shows his age and also defies it. As a director, his best moments are easy-going, warm and poignant.
With a setting in the late 1970’s, Eastwood plays Mike Milo, a former rodeo champ and horse breeder who long ago became a wreck, after a devastating accident, bouts with booze and family tragedy.
A rancher who fired him not long ago (played by Dwight Yoakum) shows up and pressures Mike into a mission—drive down to Mexico, grab the man’s son away from his boozy, neglectful mom, and spirit the kid back to the border.
The job doesn’t get any easier when Mike discovers that the son, Rafo, has taken to the streets of Mexico City and is trying to make a living with a fighting cock he calls Macho.
Mike has to dodge his way around federales, thieves, muscle men and Rafo’s distrust. Through it all, Eastwood is stiff and a little hunched. He looks like a dry old twig that, you fear, somebody could snap at any moment.
But he’s relentless. Mike sticks to a code that may show him the way back, and may give Rafo the first real parent he’s had.
It’s nice to see the old Eastwood snarl—that look where he’s half angry, half disbelieving that he has to deal with yet another jerk. On the other hand, you have to suspend belief when his character is the object of romantic overtures from two women who could be his daughters (or granddaughters.)
Rafo is played by Eduardo Minett, who is a good foil for Eastwood. The story was supplied by the late Texas writer N. Richard Nash. The script is by Nick Schenck, who wrote “Gran Torino” a movie with some rough similarities to this story.
“Cry Macho” is routine in many ways. But for the chance to see Clint Eastwood ride off into the sunset one more time (I mean, drive off) I give it three-and-a-half stars out of five.
For the Friday Film Review, I’m Rick Brough.