Diablo, a new movie starring Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott, is a throwback Western that embraces the tone and some of the visual nature of Clint’s earlier spaghetti Westerns. Not as gritty or mean as Leone’s movies, it still has a nasty, bloody side that follows the same path. But it doesn’t pull off the trick quite as well as those earlier movies.
Chalk that up to Scott Eastwood. Clint’s casual, flinty nature came across in every scene throughout those movies; he was the gravity that held the center with a believable effortlessness. His son, who can look uncannily like his father, suffers by comparison. He has many of the same manners, as if he had studied the looks, the squints, the movies of his dad, and was doing his best to channel the elder actor. He simply can’t manage the trick, though.
Luckily, Walter Goggins, of Justified and Hateful 8 fame, manages to inject life and menace into the flick. He has a knack for bad guys and he plays this role perfectly. Unfortunately, he has limited screen time to work his magic and what time there is doesn’t quite manage to redeem the movie.
The rest of the cast is solid as is the soundtrack and the cinematography. Of course, it helps to have the beauty of Alberta is your landscape for a movie like this; while the action is supposed to take place in Colorado, the gorgeous landscape makes a dandy stand-in.
The story of a man searching for his wife’s kidnappers meanders slowly– a pace that makes it’s relatively short running time feel quite longer– toward a twist that will leave most viewers entirely unsurprised. The writers telegraph that punch way too early and then fail to capitalize on the story’s abrupt left turn.
Which is a long way of saying that the movie just isn’t that good. It is, however, good enough to fill almost two hours on Netflix on a late, Saturday night if only to get that really strange sense of watching Scott Eastwood channel Clint’s old movies.
Score: 5/10 and just barely worth your time.