Run time: 104 mins
Clint Eastwood delivers one more swansong in this tender and reflective drama.
In 1978 Texas, five-time rodeo champ and retired horse breeder Mike is surprised when his rude ex-boss Howard turns up to call in a favour, asking Mike to travel to rural Mexico and rescue his 13-year-old son Rafo from an abusive situation his mother Leta is fuelling. Leta tells Mike that he’s not the first man sent to kidnap her out-of-control son but Rafo wants to go. As they hit the road, Leta’s goon Aurelio is on their trail. Menawhile, Mike sets out to teach Rafo a few life lessons.
Eastwood’s stony charisma as a hat-wearing cowboy of few words calls back to his spaghetti Western days. His gift for expressing everything by doing almost nothing gets better with age. Here he portrays Mike as a likeable loner who calls everyone out on their nonsense. At 91, Eastwood brings his considerable grizzled presence to a role that perhaps should have been played by someone three decades younger but with his steely directing style and steady pacing, everything wins through in the end. (Chris Coetsee)