I guess this isn’t going to be a good start of the year for Scott Eastwood, first comes his movie Mercury Plains, which is a few short breaths away from being terrible, then comes this – a barely average western. On paper ‘Diablo’ has a lot to offer. First, if you think the name Eastwood showing up in a western will rattle some nostalgic bones, the old ‘Orion’ logo gets in ahead of everyone else, complete with the old score we all love. Boy, do I remember that logo on my many, many (many) RoboCop VHS viewings. Throw in some stunning visuals and some Will Munny-level coldness and you surely have a winner, yes? Unfortunately, not really.
Eastwood plays Jackson, a man who awakens to find his shack burning around him and varmants disappearing out yonder with his wife. Naturally the only thing to do is give chase, armed with weapons. And so Jackson travels across the country, apparently quite literally, in pursuit of his woman. Along the way he encounters various characters, including serial creep Walton Goggins, who Jackson just can’t seem to shake off. There’s some shootin’ and tootin’ and serviceable performances. I mean, Scott Eastwood and Walton Goggins are a pair of good actors if you ask me.
Speaking of Eastwood, it’s just once again unavoidable. At times it’s like someone took Clint and ran his face through a CGI de-ageing process. It’s uncanny, not just the shared looks but the mannerisms and nuances. At first I thought that Eastwood junior was actively trying to play on it, but as the movie progressed I wasn’t so sure. He apparently is an involuntary clone of Clint Eastwood. Elsewhere, the movie is damned sure pretty – God, the Canadian wilderness (where it was filmed) is breath taking, something it relies on heavily to keep the senses awake in what is otherwise a sleepy and uneventful movie.
However, we’re then subjected to the ‘twist’. The movie is not all that it seems, see. And we’re swerved as the carpet is pulled out beneath us. Well, I guess something needed to happen and I suppose if anyone is going to unveil it, it might as well be Danny Glover, in a fine cameo. But I really have to say, as soon as it happened, hopes for the movie that had already faded were simply torpedoed and the sank to the depths of mediocrity. And you know, I’m kind of being generous with that. Diablo is let down by a severely dodgy script.