Clint Eastwood has been starting in westerns since 1964 and gracing the screen for years before that. But at the ripe old age of 91 – it might be time for the cowboy to hang up his spurs. Yes, he’s dabbled in directing, producing and has stepped outside the genre several times and there were several movies of his that we’ve enjoyed over the years. Unfortunately, his newest film Cry Macho just isn’t one that we’re going to want to see again.
Cry Macho is hitting theaters and HBO Max this Friday and follows Mike Milo (Eastwood) a retired ranch hand and horse trainer as he goes from Texas to Mexico to get his former boss’s son and bring him back. It has some of the elements of a western, there’s horses, dirt and dessert, and Stetson hats – but that’s about where the similarity ends. The movie is set in 1980, and the references are old, outdated. Instead of riding horseback through the “old west” which somehow is Texas and Mexico – Mike takes his old and beaten-up truck along the way. The only time Mike is seen on a horse in the whole film, it’s shot from a distance and you can tell just from the body that it isn’t Eastwood. I mean, who would take the risk of putting him on a horse at his age anyhow?
Cry Macho drags, the movie only clocks in at an hour and 45 minutes, but it seems much longer. And the dialogue seems forced between Mike and other characters. Besides the hard to get past delivery of lines, some lines just seem like the writers are out of touch with the current day or the time period they were writing the movie for. Eastwood’s character is encouraged to tell the boy he’s a cowboy “Every little boy wants to be a cowboy”. While that statement might have been true in the 1950s, in the 80’s kids were more into robots, Star Wars, and not so much the old west. It seems like they were trying to make a movie for the older generation that grew up with Westerns but forgot to consider that times have changed and so have the dreams of later generations.
It seems as well, that while making the movie Eastwood wants to relive some of his younger years. As it seems that this 90-year-old cowboy is simply irresistible to every woman he crosses paths with. I’m not sure if that is just ego or wishful thinking, but realism isn’t something this movie focuses on at all.
With that being said, however, Marta (played by Natalia Traven) probably gives the best performance throughout the film. Her lines are all delivered in Spanish and translated after the fact by Rafa (Eduardo Minette) to give context. But a lot of performance is through her face and body language. However, no matter how strong Traven’s performance is, it isn’t enough to carry the movie or make us want to see it again.
Although the target audience for Cry Macho is most likely children of the ’50s and ’60s who grew up watching Western films, they may not even be interested in seeing the film. And while it bills itself as a Western, it very much misses the mark on every level.
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About CRY MACHO: (In theaters and HBO Max)
From Warner Bros. Pictures comes director/producer Clint Eastwood’s uplifting and poignant drama “Cry Macho.” The film stars Eastwood as Mike Milo, a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1979, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home from Mexico. Forced to take the backroads on their way to Texas, the unlikely pair faces an unexpectedly challenging journey, during which the world-weary horseman finds unforeseen connections and his own sense of redemption.