It is a disgrace, for the reason that title, and a late-in-the-film monologue, provide an opportunity for Eastwood to ponder questions of manhood and growing older by the prism of his tough-guy display screen picture, however any greater concepts are misplaced within the minutia of the plot and cartoonish nature of many of the supporting characters.
Tailored from the late N. Richard Nash’s novel by the creator and Nick Schenk (who labored with Eastwood on “Gran Torino” and “The Mule”), the premise feels equally strained. Set in 1979, Eastwood performs Mike Milo, a Texas rodeo legend sidelined by an accident, tragedy and age.
For some purpose, his former boss (Dwight Yoakam) duties Mike with touring all the way down to Mexico to carry again his long-lost son, now nearly 13 — a chore he cannot perform himself due to acrimony along with his ex-wife (Fernanda Urrejola) and obscure authorized problems.
Mike shortly finds the boy, Rafo (newcomer Eduardo Minett), however the highway journey again — accompanied by a battling rooster named Macho — hits a number of potholes, in methods that may do little to enhance US-Mexico relations. Granted, the pair encounter a number of good souls — foremost amongst them a widow (Natalia Traven) who will not take no for a solution in the case of feeding them — however they appear simply outnumbered by corrupt cops and automotive thieves.
Ostensibly, like “Gran Torino,” the film is about an unlikely bond solid between a younger boy and a cranky outdated coot. However the arc of that is not helped by having the child change his thoughts like a windshield wiper by way of what he desires, the unlikable adults and jokes and lighter moments that merely do not land more often than not.
Give him credit score, maybe, for refusing to relaxation on these laurels when it will have been straightforward to hold up his spurs. However “Cry Macho” is a very forgettable addition to that filmography, and to paraphrase one among his most well-known characters, will not make anybody’s day.
“Cry Macho” premieres Sept. 17 in US theaters and on HBO Max. It is rated PG-13.