Clint Eastwood still has his cowboy hat firmly in place after directing 39 films (since Play Misty For Me in 1971) and acting in over 60 films. The 91 year old co-produces, directs and stars in Cry Macho, a film that wants an out-of-control teenager to learn from his regrets … similar to his previous film Gran Torino but with a road trip thrown in.
Taking place in Texas in 1979, Mike Milo was once a successful rodeo star whose tragic back story includes a back-breaking fall from a bucking horse, recovering from addiction and the loss of his wife and daughter in an automobile accident. Still living on the horse ranch, Mike reluctantly agrees to drive to Mexico City for his ex-boss to bring back his Mexican son.
The portrayal of the Mexican woman who was fun at a party and produced the son is that of someone still stuck in party-mode and living in luxury. Leta (Fernanda Urrejola) doesn’t know where her son is and, at first, gives permission for Mike to take him if he can find the 13 year old Rafo (Eduardo Minett). Unfortunately Eastwood is also stuck in an era where he is irresistible to women even though he is now decades older.
Cutting to the chase, Mike finds Rafo with his rooster Macho at a cock fight and the angry teenager agrees to go with Mike as long as he can take his rooster. Like the back roads they are forced to take when Rafo’s mother changes her mind and sends her henchmen after the pair, the story meanders considerably. Between fighting off the attempts at being captured, Mike gives Rafo some quiet words of wisdom.
The two even spend extended time in a small town where, after sleeping in the local church, the owner of the local cantina Marta (Natalie Traven) takes them in. Even though the rooster Macho steals many of the scenes, it is the Eastwood charisma with and the twinkle in his eyes that continues to fascinate. Although quite predictable, the film comes full circle from tough guy Dirty Harry who made everyone’s days.