Cry Macho (2021)

This truly seems like uncharted territory. I mean, when was the last time you saw a movie where a nonagenarian directs themselves in the lead role?

While I admit to not seeing all of his films (both in front of and behind the camera), I have seen more than enough to know that Clint Eastwood has long since made his mark not only as cinematic legend, but an American relic. Regardless of what age he is in the movies, he still plays the no-nonsense, hard lined tough guy as good as anyone ever has. No one else ever looked more terrifying when holding a gun.

That isn’t to say that the two time Oscar winning director is still entirely at the top of his game, which does show a good amount in his latest film, Cry Macho. Oddly enough, the film has been in talks to be made for over three decades, and Eastwood himself has been attached to it in that time as well. Others attached range from Robert Mitchum (which would be a version I would have liked the most) and Roy Scheider to Pierce Brosnan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 In the end, it went back to Clint. He stars as Mike Milo, a retired rodeo star who is called in for a favor by Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam). He needs Mike to go to Mexico and bring his teenage son Rafo (Eduardo Minett) out of the unhealthy relationship he has with his mother Leta (Fernanda Urrejola). Along the way, the two form a certain bond, and the youth learns what many Eastwood movies like to talk about: what it means to be a man. This includes a longer than expected stay in a small town where the two are cared for by a widowed Grandmother named Marta (Natalia Traven).

As a director, Eastwood has been known to be a “one and done” film maker. In other words, no second takes. Of course, this is not to suggest that he is lackadaisical in his film making. Legendary film director John Ford (the only winner of four best director awards and the first AFI Life Achievement award winner) is said to have done the same (as well as having been an influence for Eastwood). This is more of an attempt to get the first real, authentic reaction from the actor.

While this does indeed work at times (Eastwood has directed multiple Oscar winning performances), it also does not work all the time (while I have not seen it yet, I have heard the use of real life people in The 15:17 to Paris was not a happy result). For Cry Macho, there are some of those moments where you realize another take would not have hurt.

Parents, the movie is a moderate PG-13, mainly for swearing. There is a bit of sexual content, but far from anything terrible. Basically, the rating system is correct here.

It is not for sure yet if Cry Macho will be Eastwood’s last film, especially since he has not shown any signs as of late for wanting to retire. It is clear that age is definitely catching up with him (there is no way that is him up on a horse, although if any man in their 90s is able to punch someone in the face and make them fall down, it would be Clint Eastwood.) While the film does have many lines about the previously mentioned lessons about how to be a man, one line spoken by Mike (referring to a dog) does coincide rather well with the filmmaker:

“I don’t know how to cure old.”

Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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