Cry Macho is a modern day western drama directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. You may heard of him. The screenplay was written by Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash. It was based on Nash’s 1975 novel. The cast also includes Dwight Yoakum, Eduardo Minett, Natalia Traven and Fernanda Urrejola.
Eastwood plays a retired rodeo star named Mike Milo who just loses his job at a ranch ran by Yoakum’s Howard Polk. Sometime later, Polk comes to Milo and asks a big favor. He wants Milo to retrieve his son from his ex-wife in Mexico. He says that the boy is being abused, and he wants to have a relationship with his son, who is in the care of an unstable mother. Milo agrees to this and heads down south. He meets the ex-wife, played by Urrejola, and yes, she is a bit of a loon, but she has money and guys with guns to affirm her poor life choices. Milo then is able to find the boy who is living on the streets and making some money by having his rooster, Macho, fight against other roosters. Yeah…cockfighting. Anyway, Milo and the boy, Rafo, meet. They have an argument and still end up together in Milo’s car on the way back to Polk’s Texas ranch. Of course, all kinds of obstacles and sidetracks occur. The mother sends her hired gun after them as they also try to avoid the attention of the Mexican authorities. There is a little romance on the way for Milo. Anyway, that’s the gist of this thing.
I have a somewhat reflexive affection for Clint Eastwood, so I was pleased that he was putting out another film when I first heard of this one. The story was not without interest, but Eastwood’s age is a real problem here. The man is just over 90 years old, and he almost looks every bit of it. Yes, he is still walking unaided and seems fairly fit…for a 90 year old man, but it was still too implausible that this was Polk’s best option to send to Mexico to get his son from an unstable woman with an armed crew. The rest of the cast was pretty well chosen. Minett has enough charisma to carry off his role of thirteen year-old Rafo. There is some great scenery throughout the film. The writing seemed a little stilted. The pace of the film often dragged as well. It’s not all bad, but it does require an almost painful suspension of disbelief. I think if Eastwood is still sharp enough to direct films. that’s fine, however he would do better to understand that his days of convincingly playing an action hero are over.