Imagine being Clint Eastwood’s son. I imagine on the one hand that’s amazing whilst on the other…well…I can imagine ol’ Clint being a bit of a stickler at times, to say the least. Apparently Scott is sent over 50 scripts per month (!) that are westerns. Out of them all, he chose this one citing it’s ‘unique plot’. Was he right to do so?
At first take the plot of the movie is fairly straightforward: A young man, Jackson played by Scott Eastwood (Fury, Gran Turino), chases some Mexicans who have kidnapped his wife and burnt down his farmhouse. However, there’s a lot more to Diablo then that, with a delicious plot twist mid-way through.
In honour of the Eastwood name let’s start with the good, then the bad and perhaps some ugly. Walton Goggins pops up playing Ezra, a man who’s ‘happy just killing men’, and is wonderfully evil. But this is a very obvious Eastwood vehicle, he’s in basically every scene and, for the most part, is very good, except…
Most of the time the resemblance between father and son is just passing, but there are times – particularly a camp fire scene 15 minutes in, or when he’s squinting into the sun – when you could be watching a young Clint Eastwood in an early film. And, whilst I know it’s extremely harsh given Scott can’t help who his father is and he’s bound to have similar traits, it’s a problem when you’re an actor trying to make your own way, and you’ve chosen to be in a western.
There’s also the issue that, despite a running time of around 1.5 hours, the movie seems as if it’s being dragged out. This would have made an excellent hour-long introduction to a Diablo TV series if it had been edited down. As it is we get long drawn out shots, which have some nice cinematography, but it feels like the director Lawrence Roeck (The Forger) just recently learnt to use a drone, and it becomes tiring. This is a shame because around that it’s really very well directed.
The ugly? Well I guess the ugly is that this movie really had some potential, it should have been so much better than it was. The idea is really good, it just left you thinking there are far better westerns, even better modern westerns, then this.
As for Scott Eastwood well, we’ll see him in Suicide Squad and Snowden but perhaps his big break will come in 2017 when he stars in the Ben Affleck directed Live by Night alongside Affleck, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Ellie Fanning, Brendan Gleeson and Anthony Michael Hall to name a few.