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Eastwood not so macho in latest film

If you’re looking for a Clint Eastwood gem, look again, Cry Macho was pathetic.

Heartfelt moments were overshadowed by a barely put together plot and underdeveloped characters. The film follows a washed-up horse trainer who’s been given a task by his former boss, Howard Polk to retrieve his son, Rafael “Rafo” and bring him to Texas. The film begins with Mike Milo (Eastwood) being fired. In that scene, Polk mentions an accident as well as bits and pieces of the main character’s broken life. This makes me care about the main character and the trouble he’s likely to face in Mexico. However, things break down from there.

The film switches back and forth between the two characters which makes it kind of hard to know who the movie’s really about. Rather than being about their journey, it appears as though the writers got sidetracked when the two end up in a small town where they meet Marta with whom Mike falls in love. Marta gives Mike a chance to start over and have a home and family which he lost in a car accident. Speaking of that, the film rarely draws upon Mike’s past, there’s maybe one heartfelt scene in which he tells Rafo about his wife and son being killed in a car accident. Eastwood is superb in this moment, you actually feel sorry for his character. Rafo is no different, there’s a scene where the two of them sit by a fire and he tells Mike about the abuses he’s suffered at the hands of his mother, Leta and her many suitors.

For a movie that’s supposed to be about such an emotional issue, why is that emotion not present throughout? Why did it need to be made about Mike falling in love and not about his journey to rescue this kid? Also, the kid’s dad reveals he’s not much better than his former wife, he’s just using Rafo as a bargaining chip to get his share of a property he and Leta purchased during their marriage. Why was he not a bad guy? Why did Mike let Rafo go to him in the end? Why did Mike not take him which would have created conflict on both sides, maybe leading to battle of some sort? This would have created so much good drama and kept the audience interested at the very least. The trailer promised audiences a movie in which a broken old man mentors a troubled young man about the joys and pitfalls of manhood. This mentoring lasts maybe one scene toward the end but nowhere else. What a shame! Gran Torino is basically the same movie as Cry Macho, only better. So if you want to see what Cry Macho should have been, try that.

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