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'Diablo,' starring Scott Eastwood, doesn't hold a candle to other Westerns out now

The recent wave of exciting, inspired westerns like "Bone Tomahawk" and "The Hateful Eight" is the best and worst thing to happen to "Diablo," a relatively ordinary oater that may pick up some business from genre fans who've had their appetites whetted.

The film stars Scott Eastwood, doing a shaky impression of his father, Clint — right down to the raspy voice and permanent squint. He plays Jackson, a Civil War veteran who rides out into the wilderness to find his woman, Alexsandra (Camilla Belle), after a band of marauders takes her away.

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On the trail, Jackson encounters hostile natives and old acquaintances, none of whom seem thrilled to see him. Veteran actors such as Danny Glover and Walton Goggins bring much-needed flavor to "Diablo."

For roughly the first 45 minutes, writer-director Lawrence Roeck and his co-writer Carlos De Los Rios keep the movie light and lean, getting enough out of the beautiful scenery and occasional gunfights to compensate for Eastwood's blandness (and his distractingly well-styled hair).

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Then Roeck throws in a lurching plot twist that necessitates some clunky explanatory dialogue — along with an onset of portentousness that a film this slight hasn't really earned.


MPAA rating: R, for violence and brief language.

Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on January 08, 2016, in the Entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "A shaky western from an Eastwood - `DIABLO'" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe