Run Time: 100 Mins
What To Expect: Innocuous, empty, an Eastwood misfire…
Clint Eastwood is 91, 90 at the time of filming this, to save you the inconvenience of Wiki’ing what all of us wonder these days when he comes out with something new. Eastwood is a master film maker so when something new of his comes out, especially when he stars in it, it has to be checked and reviewed. We can’t win ’em all though, as we see with this milquetoast and almost pointless movie of his.
It’s 1979 and Eastwood plays Mike Milo, a retired rodeo legend and keeper of horses. Milo is hired by his boss, Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam) to retrieve Polk’s son from his affluent yet trashy mother across the border in Mexico. The boy is Rafael (Eduardo Minett), who may or may not relent to Milo’s new leadership. Upon finding him, Milo takes the boy and his fighting cock (‘Macho’) north towards the border, making friends (and enemies) along the way.
It’s remarkable to watch Eastwood in this, one of the last true bona fide movie stars. The man is 90, yet his performance is totally lucid, somehow more alert and respecting of the dialogue than younger Eastwoods might have been. It really is a joy to watch him, so bright and full of vigor — none of it looking forced (as in trying to appear young). Also directed by him the film also has its visual highlights, Eastwood knows what he’s doing when he allows the viewer to soak up certain scenes and settings.
The bad news… Nick Schenk’s script is just a pile of nothing. Eastwood drives the boy north. Yes? And? This is all we get? Nothing of substance happens in this film, it is about as flat as you could imagine and the screen gravitas of Eastwood himself starts to not be able to pull that dead weight about the half way mark. Also problematic is the child actor, Minett. The kid is forgettable at best, and not a good actor. He tries to be funny, made worse by unworkable screenwriting.
Only hardcore Clint fans need look here. Mediocre.