(CNN)At 91, Clint Eastwood's agelong vocation arsenic a filmmaker and longer 1 arsenic a prima are acold much absorbing than "Cry Macho," an understated, uneventful slog of a movie that feels similar a misguided merger of "Gran Torino" and "Bronco Billy." Blame galore of the problems connected a woefully anemic script, but this mostly two-character roadworthy movie ne'er truly gets retired of park.
It's a shame, since the title, and a late-in-the-film monologue, connection a accidental for Eastwood to contemplate questions of manhood and aging done the prism of his tough-guy surface image, but immoderate bigger ideas are mislaid successful the minutia of the crippled and cartoonish quality of astir of the supporting characters.
Adapted from the precocious N. Richard Nash's caller by the writer and Nick Schenk (who worked with Eastwood connected "Gran Torino" and "The Mule"), the premise feels arsenic strained. Set successful 1979, Eastwood plays Mike Milo, a Texas rodeo fable sidelined by an accident, calamity and age.
For immoderate reason, his erstwhile brag (Dwight Yoakam) tasks Mike with traveling down to Mexico to bring backmost his long-lost son, present astir 13 -- a chore helium can't transportation retired himself due to the fact that of acrimony with his ex-wife (Fernanda Urrejola) and vague ineligible complications.
Mike rapidly finds the boy, Rafo (newcomer Eduardo Minett), but the roadworthy travel backmost -- accompanied by a battling rooster named Macho -- hits aggregate potholes, successful ways that volition bash small to amended US-Mexico relations. Granted, the brace brushwood a fewer bully souls -- foremost among them a widow (Natalia Traven) who won't instrumentality nary for an reply erstwhile it comes to feeding them -- but they look easy outnumbered by corrupt cops and car thieves.
Ostensibly, similar "Gran Torino," the movie is astir an improbable enslaved forged betwixt a young lad and a cranky aged coot. But the arc of that isn't helped by having the kid alteration his caput similar a windshield wiper successful presumption of what helium wants, the unlikable adults and jokes and lighter moments that simply don't onshore astir of the time.
Affiliated with Warner Bros. (like CNN, a portion of WarnerMedia) since the mid-'70s, Eastwood has amassed an awesome and eclectic assemblage of directorial enactment implicit the past half-century, dating backmost to "Play Misty For Me" successful 1971. In betwixt helium directed a brace of Oscar winners, "Million Dollar Baby" and "Unforgiven," but the grounds has proven much uneven implicit the past decade, with successes successful "American Sniper" and "Sully," and little satisfying efforts similar "Richard Jewell."
Give him credit, perhaps, for refusing to remainder connected those laurels erstwhile it would person been casual to bent up his spurs. But "Cry Macho" is simply a peculiarly forgettable summation to that filmography, and to paraphrase 1 of his astir celebrated characters, won't marque anyone's day.
"Cry Macho" premieres Sept. 17 successful US theaters and connected HBO Max. It's rated PG-13.