Cry Macho is legendary Clint
Eastwood's 39th directorial effort (he also did directorial work on the strong
1984 New Orleans-set thriller Tightrope but was uncredited). When you're
as prolific an artist as Eastwood is, the quality will range all over the place
(see also the novels of Stephen King or the films of Woody Allen). With the
exception of 2018's clunky The 15:17 to Paris, he has been on a good run
lately with the excellent Sully and Richard Jewell, as well as
the solid The Mule. Unfortunately, Cry Macho (now in theaters and
on HBO Max) is definitely a minor Eastwood film, even though his fans will
likely still get some enjoyment out of it.
Eastwood plays Mike Milo, a former
rodeo cowboy fallen on hard times in late 70s/early 80s Texas. Mike's former
friend and employer (Dwight Yoakam) calls in a favor and asks him to go to
Mexico to retrieve his estranged 13-year-old son Raphael (Eduardo Minett) and
bring him home. Mike finds Raphael relatively quickly and what follows is part
road movie, part a story about outsiders finding an unlikely home.
In Eastwood's last acting effort
(2018's The Mule), he played a 90-year-old man. But in Cry Macho
(based on a novel by N. Richard Nash), one can't help but feel the role was
originally written for someone in their late 60s/early 70s. Eastwood is 91, and
while it's truly admirable that he still has the drive and stamina to both
direct and act in films, he's too old for the role. This is especially true in an
utterly ridiculous scene that occurs about 30 minutes in (you'll know it when
you see it).
There are some nice, low-key scenes in
a small Mexican town Mike and Raphael are stranded in, and Eastwood has a few
good tough-guy one liners. But even at its best, Cry Macho never really
rises above serviceable.
While it's far from Eastwood's best, I
still enjoyed seeing Cry Macho in a theater. I don't know how many more
chances I'll get to see a new Eastwood film in a theater.
Speaking of theaters, the two cinemas currently open in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes are the Prytania Canal Place and the Broad Theater (Cry Macho is only playing theatrically in New Orleans at Prytania Canal Place). Show them your support as we recover from Hurricane Ida.