Cry Macho movie review - Aussieboyreviews
IS TOXIC MASCULINITY A MAJOR THEME IN CRY MACHO?
Despite what the title and trailers suggest, this Western drama slowly isn’t so much about morals and is more about its premise. This makes Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho somewhat disappointing, but still well-made.
A washed-up rodeo travels to Mexico to bring his former employer’s 13-year-old son back home and away from his alcoholic mother. During their journey, he also teaches the boy on what it means to be a good man.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eduardo Minett, Dwight Yoakam, Natalia Traven, Fernanda Urrejola
Writer: Nick Schenk, N. Richard Nash
Release Date (Australia): 25 November 2021
Runtime: 104 minutes/1h 4m
Genre: Drama, Western
CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)
The film includes themes such as child abuse, a rodeo accident and alcoholism.
The film includes a depiction of a man punching another man in the face and depictions of bruising detail.
The film includes use of words including “s**t”, “ass”, “bastard”, “damn”, “hell” and “whore”.
The film includes verbal references to “drugs”, “pills” and “dope”.
A woman positions herself on a bed in an attempt to seduce a man.
PG-13 (for language and thematic elements)
Aussie boy's thoughts
Although Clint Eastwood’s Western drama is finely-crafted and mostly enjoyable, the disappointment comes from the fact that it doesn’t actually carry as much morals around toxic masculinity as both the title and trailers advocate. Cry Macho looks like a movie that powerfully promotes the quotes it uses in its previews, like “this macho thing is overrated” and “just people trying to be macho to show that they’ve got grit, and that’s about all they end up with”, when it’s really instead just focused on its premise.
Directed by, produced by and starring Clint Eastwood, the film centres on his character as an old man who travels to Mexico to bring his former boss’s son back home to his father. Pretty much all of the performances in this movie are very weak and unconvincing, of course, except for Eastwood, whose slow old-man pace in all of his scenes give him a strong elderly wise feeling and like his life’s been a long journey that he’s learnt a lot from. The actor is in his 90s and still gives the best performances in all of his movies.
The direction and cinematography is also near-perfect in this movie, with each shot that’s filmed in outdoor areas really giving you that Western vibe. In almost every daytime scene where there’s no dialogue or commotion and the camera is focusing on the characters or settings, each shot includes the beam of sunlight coming from the edges of the screen and features men wearing cowboy hats under the hot sun.
Again, the big let-down of this movie is how the trailers feel very different to the film itself. Cry Macho is only focused on Eastwood’s character bringing a kid home to his father, when while all that’s happening, there could be lots of powerful bonding moments and lessons on masculinity shared between the main characters. There’s none of that, and the compelling speech he makes in the trailer is brief and only lasts a few minutes before being forgotten.
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