Today: July 19, 2024

Cry Macho

In a career nearing 70 years, Clint Eastwood has given us some of the most beloved and iconic films – and characters – of all time. From Dirty Harry to The Man with No Name, the man is certainly a titan of cinema. When 2008’s Gran Torino was billed as his swansong, it seemed like a fitting farewell to the icon. And yet, 13 years later, he is still working – regrettably, with increasingly diminishing quality. His latest, Cry Macho, could unfortunately be one of his worst films to date.

It’s 1979 and Eastwood is Mike Milo, an ageing rodeo star whose severe back injury has left him a shadow of his former self. We’re told – although it’s seemingly completely forgotten from this scene onwards – that he has become a drug-addled alcoholic, and his glory days are a distant memory. When his former boss (country musician and absolutely-not-actor Dwight Yoakam) hires him to travel to Mexico to bring back his rebellious son Rafo (Eduardo Minett), he reluctantly accepts and embarks on a journey of self-rediscovery and redemption, complete with the usual love interest half his age and casual racism.

Despite a largely charming – albeit totally autopiloted – performance from Eastwood, Cry Macho is a bit of a mess from start to finish. There’s an indescribable yet distracting amateurish feel to the film which is surprising considering Eastwood’s pedigree, and it plagues every scene. Strange editing choices and dire pacing keep the film at beyond an arm’s length, leaving the viewer unable to connect with the story or characters, while some pretty hammy supporting performances certainly don’t help. The story – and this may very well be a problem with the 1975 source novel – is all over the place, too, and riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies in character motivation and behaviour. It’s just an uncomfortable viewing experience.

Clint Eastwood certainly doesn’t owe us anything, and if he’s making these films just for his own benefit then maybe we should just leave him to it. Even in a film like this, there’s no denying that it’s always pleasing to see a legend like Eastwood on screen – truly one of the last greats remaining from a bygone era of cinema. But at the same time, one can’t help feeling disappointed that his output has come to this level of quality.

Cry Macho has had a cursed production ever since it began floating around Hollywood in the 1970s, with multiple rejected adaptations and failed attempts with stars including Roy Scheider, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pierce Brosnan (to name but a few). This curse seems to have extended into the 2020s, with this rather abysmal blip in Eastwood’s career. If this is his final film, what a sad way for him to leave us. Hopefully he’s got one more masterpiece in him.

Cry Macho is a messy and distractingly amateurish dud. 

 

Samuel Love

Freelance writer. Email: samuel@smlcreative.co.uk

Previous Story

WIN THE CLINT EASTWOOD – 40 FILM COLLECTION ON DVD

Next Story

Eric Clapton: The Lady in the Balcony – Lockdown Sessions

Latest from Blog

Memory

Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Longlegs

Following early screenings, Longlegs mania became something bigger than anyone could have predicted. After an eerie and ambiguous marketing campaign made up largely of short, cryptic teasers, hype was already pretty high

Inside No 9 Complete Collection Unboxing

Earlier this year, one of the finest television creations in the history of the medium came to a poignant conclusion after 9 impeccable seasons. Over 55 self-contained episodes, Inside No 9 made

A Bittersweet Life Unboxing

Taking a brief detour from horror, Second Sight Films have given their much-loved Limited Edition treatment to South Korean neo-noir thriller A Bittersweet Life (2005). Filmmaker Kim Jee-woon may jump wildly around

The Conversation Unboxing

Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece of paranoia The Conversation celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and StudioCanal are marking the occasion with this utterly beautiful Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray release that even

Halo Season Two Unboxing

While the Halo TV series continues to be controversial with longtime ‘fans’ of the franchise for petty reasons, this year’s explosive second season certainly marked an improvement over the first. With better
Go toTop

Don't Miss

In the Line of Fire 4K

In one of a very limited number of films the

Coogan’s Bluff

With a back catalogue that includes seminal Spaghetti Westerns such as A