Cry Macho (8/10)
by Tony Medley
This script first came to Clint Eastwood’s attention more than 40 years ago, based on N. Richard Nash’s novel. At the time Eastwood said he was too young for the role and thought Robert Mitchum would be better. It never got done but Clint never forgot about it and in 2019 put together a team to make it.
Clint plays Mike Milo, an aged rodeo star, a man who has lived a hard life with some bitter memories. His boss, Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam) asks him to go to Mexico and bring back his son, Rafo (14-year-old Eduardo Minett, in his feature film debut), who is living with his volatile estranged wife, Leta (Fernanda Urrejola) who does not have good feelings about Howard (or anyone else, apparently). Mike reluctantly agrees.
What follows are the problems he encounters when he finally reaches Mexico, including meeting Marta (Natalia Traven, who gives an entrancing performance). She is loaded with charisma and sex appeal. Despite the disparity in their ages, the chemistry between them works. Getting out of Mexico was no piece of cake. As you might imagine bad guys did not want them to leave.
Eastwood is truly amazing. At 91 years old he not only stars and appears in almost every scene, but directs, too (from a script by Nash and Nick Schenck). Just that alone makes this movie one to see.
Typical Eastwood are the following lines:
Rafo: You used to be strong.
Mike: I used to be a lot of things.
Lots of people can say that line, obviously, but when you read it, it seems uniquely nonagenarian Clint Eastwood. If that grabs you, then you will like this movie. One final comment: Clint knows how to end a movie right.
Tony Medley is an attorney, columnist, and MPAA-accredited film critic whose reviews and articles may be read in several newspapers and at rottentomatoes.com, CWEB.com, Robinhoodnews.com, Movie Review Query Engine (mrqe.com), and at www.tonymedley.com. His most recent book is “Learn to Play Bridge Like a Boss,” the most complete “all in one” book for beginners and also for advanced players. He is also the author of three books, UCLA Basketball: The Real Story, Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed, the first book ever written on the interview for the interviewee and still in print after more than thirty years, having sold over a half million copies, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Bridge, which has sold over 100,000 copies. He is an American Contract Bridge League Silver Life Master and an ACBL accredited director.