Journal: ‘Cry Macho’ recalls Eastwood’s brilliance
For longer than Clint Eastwood, no film star or actor or director has done it better.
At 91, he is still performing and directing and his latest picture, ‘Cry Macho’, will premiere in cinemas and will also be shown on HBO Max this weekend. The light of Eastwood is still shining as a director and performer despite its age.
The Eastwood fan has a certain appeal, but the picture plows a little new ground, and in my opinion,
the film falls at least at the bottom of an enormous range of the actor/director’s performance.
The tale is based on a book published in 1975 by N. Richard Nash, which the author tried to sell as a screenplay in the movie. Since then, Hollywood has been the stage for the tale.
In 2011, the project starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was not yet produced. The film was canceled.
Eastwood had Nick Schenk scriptwriter rewrite the original Nash screenplay, and despite the difficulty of Covid-19, the film was filmed in New Mexico last year, which would remind us of an “afternoon special” effort at a tough man film.
The narrative is straightforward. Eastwood’s character, a former rodeo roustabout and horse trainer, Mike Milo, owes a debt for the long-time bailout of a low moment by Texas rancher Howard (Dwight Yoakam). Howard employs Milo to collect the boys’ “abusive” mother in Mexico from Rafo (Eduardo Minett), his 13-year-old son, and the boy’s pre-combating rooster, Macho.
Milo is a typical Eastwood ornamental cuss, but an honest man who loves children and animals. He accepts the task and tries to find Rafo and Macho.
The movie is about a distressful riot guy, a young Ron Howard as a kid, who took Wayne’s character under his wing, remembered in some ways from John Wayne’s last movie, “The Shooter.” Eastwood’s Milo is similarly related to young Rafo.
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“It’s an overrated macho thing,” Milo says of the kid at the conclusion of the film. “You believe you’ve got all the answers, but then you grow old and discover you have no answers. It’s too late when you find it out.”
Eastwood’s Milo is a mellower variation of the harsh laconic style of Eastwood, which is more contemplative and possibly wiser. Of course, the character of Eastwood throws a couple of hits, the woman romances, and runs to save Rafo and the chicken, but he is more relaxed about this.
The film may mainly have expected twists and turns, but if you are an Eastwood fan, the trip will usually be fast and pleasant. The widow Milo somewhat romances Natalia Traven, while Rafo brightens one of the grandchildren during her stay on a ranch.
Although the film doesn’t exactly come into Eastwood’s action-drama genre, it’s OK. He created hundreds of flicks we can revisit every time we want. This film is a little different, maybe a touch closer to “Any Which Way But Loose,” his 1978 comedy.
Although some Eastwood fans may feel let down by “Cry Macho,” I enjoyed the film’s flavor more than the film itself.
Review: ‘Cry Macho’ a sentimental reminder of Eastwood’s talent