We’ll be honest: The trailer for Clint Eastwood’s new film, Cry Macho, had us guessing for a while. The initial setup—former rodeo star gets sent to Mexico to recover wayward kid—has some of the energy of a late-era Rambo movie, specifically the “Don’t ever go to Mexico, kids!” vibe of 2019's Last Blood. (That is, if Rambo was a former rodeo guy, doing, like, garrote-based rope tricks and stuff.) But then the kid in question, played by Eduardo Minett, actually turns up—complete with a pet rooster—and suddenly we’re in heartfelt wisdom and geriatric dick jokes territory, instead.
It’s worth noting that Eastwood—absent any chair-based political comedy routines he might at times choose to deploy—is still in pretty good command of his talents for deadpan comedy, and so none of this ends up looking as embarrassing as it otherwise might. Minett’s pleasantly earnest take on teenage rebellion and the meaning of being “macho” doesn’t hurt, either; similarly, we’re always going to be happy to see Dwight Yoakum poking at a tough guy from beneath a cowboy hat.
As per usual, Cry Macho sees Eastwood wearing both the director and the producer’s hats, in addition to Miko Milo’s former-horse-guy headgear. The script, meanwhile, is from Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash, working from Nash’s 1975 novel of the same name. (Somewhat hilariously, the book’s version of its main character was 38, meaning Eastwood was 10 years older than the written character even when the book was first published.) The trailer definitely plays up some of the story’s more heartwarming elements—advice, definitions of masculinity, cockfighting—while focusing on the relationship between Eastwood and the kid he’s maybe, kind of, sort of kidnapped.
Cry Macho is aiming at a September 17 release date; it’ll arrive that day both in theaters, and on WarnerMedia’s HBO Max streaming service, where it’ll enjoy a 31-day viewing period.