Diablo (2016)

Scott Eastwood is the son of legendary filmmaker Clint Eastwood. The last Scott Eastwood movie I saw was not particularly good. It did not bode well for this one, however this one also had Walton Goggins and it, and I love that guy. So, how was this Western going to hammer out? Was it going to be a pale rendition of something Clint would have done, or was it going to break new ground? I was genuinely eager to find out.

We start this movie off knee-deep in the action. Scott's house is already on fire, people are firing their guns at the house, and the darkened figure of Scott confidently strides out the front door and engages the enemy with seemingly not a single thought about his own safety at all. The entire scene is meant to inspire awe in this brand-new character, but it honestly comes off as pretty hokey. I immediately wondered what I just got myself into. It really had the makings of a terrible low-budget Western.

So, the chase is on! Scott has to run down these strange Mexicans and fetch his wife who they forcefully extracted from the house before setting it on fire. As a chase movie, the pace doesn't keep up. One thing that does keep up is Scott's hair. I'm not sure how soon after the end of the Civil War hair gel was invented, but it appears to be pretty soon. Scott's looks aside, is acting is particularly wooden. I don't know if he was trying to channel his father, but he failed.

Honestly, I would probably have stopped watching at that point if I didn't know that Walton Goggins was coming. That guy has a fantastic range of acting ability, and I could only assume that he would bring some spark to this movie that it desperately needed. Sure enough, when he shows up, he brings enough swagger for both of them. The fact that he's a malevolent force makes this movie more confusing than it probably needed to be. Now, mix in some Indians, some senseless murders, a China man, and a whole Mexican ranch, and do you think you have enough? Well, you're missing somebody.

Enter Danny Glover. I didn't even know we were going to get a big name like Danny Glover in this movie whenever I started to watch it. Fortunately, I hadn't planned on seeing him, so I wasn't that disappointed when we didn't get to see him very much. There really were a lot of people involved in this one-man revenge story. If only we didn't have to focus on that one man for so long. More Walton Goggins and less Scott Eastwood would definitely have made this movie better.

Best gunfight technique:
Walk into the middle of the square.
Don't worry - no one can hit you.
As a Western, this movie should really rely on mood and gunplay. The mood isn't really there, and the gunplay is the Western equivalent of a laughable late 80's action movies. Our hero has an aura of invulnerability around him greater than Steven Seagal's in <insert any Steven Seagal movie>. To that end, he gets shot at by people with guns, by arrows, and has to fight the terrain to get to where he's going. None of it seems to cause him a moment's hesitation. It seems that even Scott's characters aren't as smart as his father's characters just like this movie isn't as smart as his father's movies, and, alas, Scott does not appear to be the equal of his father.

Acting was hit and miss
Story was very weak
Dialogue was very weak
Action was terrible
Direction was bad

Bottom Line: There are good Westerns, and then there's this.



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