A Night In Old Mexico

A Night In Old Mexico

Robert Duvall is reason enough to see almost any movie, and
he’s in fine form in a role tailor-made for him by Bill Wittliff, who wrote the
teleplay for the unforgettable miniseries Lonesome
Dove.
That expansive Western saga by Larry McMurtry gave Duvall one of his
all-time best roles, as Gus McCrae, and A
Night in Old Mexico
might be seen as an extension of that character set in
modern times. Director Emilio Aragón sets the stage, perfectly and
unobtrusively.

Red Bovie (Duvall) is a crotchety old man who has just lost
his Texas ranch, and with it his dignity and will to live. He is spurred on by
the arrival of a now-grown grandson (Jeremy Irvine) he’s never met, the
offspring of his long-estranged son. With nothing more to lose and a
what-the-hell attitude, he and the boy set off across the border for “a night
in old Mexico,” an evening of carousing that will ostensibly be a last hurrah
for the old man. They don’t count on encountering drug smugglers, getting
caught in the crossfire between warring enemies, or becoming involved with a sexy
woman (Angie Cepeda) whose dreams of stardom have stalled at a rowdy café.

It’s fairly plain that A
Night in Old Mexico
is a vehicle for Duvall, and as such it’s thoroughly
enjoyable: a lightweight film that’s easy to take but elevated to a higher
level than it might otherwise attain by the committed presence of its leading
actor. Watching him in his element is a genuine treat.

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