If Robert Duvall is wearing a cowboy hat in a film, I’ll be the first one in line for the screening. Actually, if he’s in any film, I’ll be there. But when he’s got the hat on, man, I just eat it up because no one plays a cantankerous old coot better than he does.
In A Night In Old Mexico, he plays Red Bovie, a Texas Ranger that has just lost his house and home. Everything he cares about is gone, he says. His cows, his horses and his land he yells to God. He’s had it. So, he grabs his gun and aims it for his head but he can’t pull the trigger. Finally, he asks the Big Guy Upstairs for a sign, some kind of sign so he won’t do it. And in walks grandson, Gally (War Horse‘s Jeremy Irvine), who he hasn’t seen in years.
The two, both running away from their problems, gas up his ole Caddy and high-tail it for the border in search of some good times and adventure. Which they find by giving a ride to Moon (Jim Parrack, True Blood) and J.T. (James Hebert, who also stars in Two Step at SXSW). The pair are drug runners who are also headed across the border and they have ideas of killing Bovie and Gally and taking the car to Mexico. But, thanks to Bovie’s paranoia about the two, they end up stranded.
The two get to Mexico, meetup with Patty (Angie Cepeda), a sexy showgirl, and find that Mexico isn’t what they thought it would be.
The film, directed by Emilio Aragon, is at it’s best when Duvall is on-screen. It’s just pure pleasure to watch him work. Parrack and Hebert are also fine and I was wishing they were more prominent in the story.
The main problem with the film is that Irvine just can’t hold a candle to Duvall. When those two are together, Duvall wipes the floor with him; he can’t go toe-to-toe in their scenes and they just become lopsided messes.
Another problem with the film is Patty, the showgirl. Anytime she’s on-screen it slows everything down. And when Gally and Patty are together by themselves, it’s total snoozeville. Bring back Duvall to get this party started!
The film is a Duvall showcase and if you’re a fanboy – like I am – then it’s worth your time to check this out.