The Western movie genre has given us some of the greatest stories in Hollywood. This genre has given us excellent storytelling, memorable villains and heroes, and amazing settings and scenery. Clint Eastwood has been the star of many of these beloved Westerns. "Unforgiven," "Good, Bad, and The Ugly," and "A Fistful of Dollars," just to name a few. Eastwood's legacy in this genre will forever be celebrated and remembered. My father had me watch these films at an early age, so the level of respect and love for Eastwood and his Westerns will always be close to my heart.
However, now we have another Eastwood movie "Cry Macho". Which honestly — in my opinion — was just a failure in every aspect. Westerns have been able to craft beautiful and gritty stories, but this film did neither. This film felt lazy and dull across the board, which hurt me as an Eastwood fan. There wasn’t any real conflict or tension to this film, which is majorly an issue considering this film was about getting a kid across the border from Mexico to Texas. With all that being said, let's dive in!
A washed-up rodeo star takes a high-risk job from an ex-boss. The job is to find his son in Mexico and bring him back to Texas. Along the way, the pair faces challenges and learns lessons on how to be a man.
You have to appreciate Clint Eastwood’s acting here. At the age of 91 he is still able to competently act and go behind the camera for this film. The amount of work it takes to act and direct a film is enormous. Eastwood at his advanced age is still able to get behind the camera and show the audience that he still somewhat has it.
Another highlight was that Eduardo Minett was very good in this film. He took on the character well, even with the uneven writing and lack of story. He’s got some good acting chops, and he might be someone that we will see in future films in the years to come.
This film lacked any sort of tension or conflict. Early in the film, we see that the child’s mother does not care about her son in any sort of way and later we see the father does not either, but only cares to be spiteful towards the mother. Overall, this film gives no reason for the audience to care about the conflict that the film tried to present in my opinion.
Eastwood’s character did a lot of sleeping in this film. In all honesty, your trusted Eastern Echo film reviewer may have nodded off once as well. Not a great sign folks. That’s a shame considering the legacy Eastwood left behind as an actor and director.
Furthermore, if this film is about getting the kid to Texas, why is there no tension of police or other villains trying to take the kid? What makes this kid so special? Why don't the parents care about this kid? These are questions that are not answered in this film. Poor writing and storytelling are the cause of this.
This film had no identity and went off the rails. The plot lost its steam. First, it's about getting back to Texas then it turns into this weird love story. This film had a serious case of an identity crisis. It had no idea what it wanted to be. There has to be consistency in writing and storytelling. This film was simply not consistent with either. Eastwood has crafted great stories, but this was not one of them.
The message of what a good man is was completely lost. This film later on was trying to tell the men in the audience what a real man should act and be like, but the message was not clearly stated. The message felt lost in the mix somewhere. If this film was supposed to destroy toxic masculinity, it did a poor job at it.
This film felt like a duller version of another Eastwood film "Gran Torino." Not the greatest film in the long line of Eastwood stories.