Combustible Celluloid
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With: Scott Eastwood, Walton Goggins, Camilla Belle, Samuel Marty, Danny Glover, Adam Beach, Roberto Franco, Diego Diablo Del Mar, Nesta Cooper, William Belleau, Morris Birdyellowhead, Tzi Ma, Greg Lawson, Yaniv Bercovitz, Rohan Campbell
Written by: Lawrence Roeck, Carlos De Los Rios
Directed by: Lawrence Roeck
MPAA Rating: R for violence and brief language
Running Time: 83
Date: 01/08/2016

Diablo (2016)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

A Fist Without Dollars

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

It's impossible not to think of Clint Eastwood in his great Westerns when watching his youngest son Scott in this poor one, and the comparison is not favorable. Both the movie and its star seem empty.

Some years after the Civil War, a veteran soldier called Jackson (Eastwood) discovers that his house burned to the ground and his wife taken. He mounts his horse and heads into the hills after her. He encounters a wounded gunman (Joaquim de Almeida), a helpful American Indian (Adam Beach) patches up a wound, and knocks on the door of an old colleague (Danny Glover).

He also meets a sinister gunslinger, Ezra (Walton Goggins), who always seems to be on his trail. But Jackson gets a surprise when he finally catches up to the missing woman (Camilla Belle) — and it becomes clear as to just why Jackson is also known as "Diablo."

The young Eastwood looks a little like his legendary father, but he lacks any kind of edge or history or character — the best he can manage is holstering his guns with a little flourish — and he doesn't seem particularly smart or brave.

Following him through the story, especially after its disappointing "twist," leaves us with little to care about. His quest, and all the killings, become ultimately pointless. Moreover, the star is continually upstaged by his far more charismatic supporting cast, each of which only appears for a few minutes, especially Joaquim de Almeida, Adam Beach, Danny Glover, and Walton Goggins (the latter also in The Hateful Eight). It's too bad this cast was wasted on such a poor story.

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