I am always curious about actors who are the children of other actors. I like to watch them to see how much of their parents they have in them, and also how much of their own style and personality goes into their own roles. Watching Tom Hanks and Colin Hanks side by side is definitely interesting, because I feel their filmography are absolutely nothing alike. I don't think anybody has ever become a carbon copy of their parents. I think the same can be said about Scott Eastwood. He's appeared here and there so far, but I bet 2016 will be the year he makes his big mark. He's set to appear in "Suicide Squad" this summer and if he sticks out in that ensemble, he could surely score the role of Han Solo. The thing is, I am not sure "Diablo" was the best way to open the year.
"Diablo" caught my eye because its a Western. I love a good, old-fashioned Western. I also loved the fact that Scott Eastwood was in it, because let's face it, he probably absorbed all the great Westerns his father starred in growing up. I definitely wasn't expecting "A Fistful of Dollars" with "Diablo," but I was expecting something cool, something daring and something kick-ass. It starts off promising, like several Westerns do. A group of bandits burn the home of a man, nearly kill his horse and kidnap his wife. So he goes on a long walk down the road for revenge and rescue. Seems pretty cool, huh?
Well sadly, from there, "Diablo" isn't much of a movie at all. There is a beautiful cinematography to it, and the musical score isn't bad. I am just not sure I get what I am watching. First of all, I get really lost by the constant collection of familiar actors who just appear then never return. We see Tzi Ma, Walton Groggins, Danny Glover, Adam Beach, and Joaquim de Almeida. But they just show up for a scene or too and then are gone. It doesn't fit into the story in any sort of way. It just feels like scenes that say "hey, I am that guy from that movie! Look at me!" Then they are gone. Walton Groggins is as good as ever, but his character seems rehashed from "Justified" and "Django Unchained." Plus if you guess what purpose his character serves, you'll be bored by the rest of the movie.
Yeah, there is something up with Groggins' character, and he is linked in a specific way to Eastwood's character. But the revelation hurts the film rather than helps it, and finding out the revelation lands with a hollow dud. The thing is, they make it incredibly obvious that the revelation exists and they pretty much make it easy for you to guess. I suppose we weren't supposed to be surprised by anything in the movie, yet it was still directed like we were.
What's weird about "Diablo" is that it feels like a horror movie at the end, and I don't want to feel intensified or depressed by a Western. I want to feel retribution, I want to feel like I just got home from an adventure. I want to feel that adventure. I want to see a good man get his revenge. I don't want the final moments of a Western to feel like a cowboy version of a slasher movie. Which is what "Diablo" does.
The worst thing about it is that I feel like I don't get anything off of Eastwood. He maybe Clint's son, but he's got to earn it as a performer. This was his first big lead role, and it feels like he isn't in it much. He has one of those characters that just gives looks, and walks around solemn. But the moments he does talk are glowingly bad. If he wants to become a huge up-and-coming actor, he's going to have to do better than this.
The best part of the movie? Its pretty damn short, so at least I was done with this mess pretty much from when it began.
FINAL GRADE: D-