By: Jesse Striewski
Legendary actor/director Clint Eastwood returns to the big screen in this neo-western that’s short on the action, yet heavy on the drama. Based on the 1975 novel of the same name by N. Richard Nash, this live screen adaptation moves with an extremely slow pace, but does offer some escapist payoff to those willing to give it a chance.
Set in 1979, Eastwood plays former rodeo star Mike Milo, who is sent to Mexico by his ex-boss Howard Polk (played by Dwight Yoakam) to retrieve his troubled teenaged son (Eduardo Minett), who is surviving in the underworld of cock-fighting with a rooster dubbed “Macho.”
The two (or three, if we’re counting Macho) quickly bond on the road while trying to make their way back to Texas, encountering difficulties from the police, and henchmen hired by Rafael’s vengeful mother (Fernanda Urrejola) to stop them. But along the way, they also find the “good” in people, are taken in by a kind and giving single mother, and discover things about each other, and about life in general.
Much of the acting is sub-par, and asking audiences to still accept 91-year-old Eastwood as a horse-ridding, grizzly brawler type is a bit much (even with the action toned down and tailored for him). But I couldn’t help but feel as I was watching Cry Macho that Eastwood was taking his final bow, and I was saying goodbye to an entire era. Far from his best work, yet I’ll take mediocre Eastwood, over no Eastwood any day.
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars