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A young civil war veteran is forced on a desperate journey to save his kidnapped wife.

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Diablo online movie review - Well-made, but dull and downbeat Western with Clint Eastwood's son

Released in 2015, "Diablo" stars Clint Eastwood's son, Scott Eastwood, as a desperate man chasing a group of Mexicans who burned down his home and took his woman.

The filmmaking is great, including the cinematography and score. On top of this Scott is definitely reminiscent of his great father; it remains to be seen if he can build on the solid foundation, but this Western isn't a good start. Why? The story is dull from the get-go and only becomes mildly compelling in the second half. Not to mention there's zero character development, more like character devolvement, if you know what I mean. Worse, the movie's overbearingly downbeat, and not in a good way, as with great films like "Midnight Express" (1978), "Runaway Train" (1986) or "Apocalypse Now" (1979). Then there's some mysterious killer who just seems to pop out of nowhere every twelve minutes. The reason for this is explained in the third act, but you'll suspect it beforehand.

Then, there's the roll-your-eyes shoot out at the end where all the "bad guys" (or are they?) become hopeless sitting ducks. Can't ONE of these tough Westerners shoot a guy who's standing out in the open a mere hundred feet away? Can't they hide behind something in safety while they kill the dude? Or how about NOT running in the open as easy prey? Could they really be this stoo-pid and incompetent? For more commentary, see "Spoiler Alert" below.

The movie runs 82 minutes and was shot in Alberta, Canada.

GRADE: D+

***SPOILER ALERT*** (Don't read further if you haven't seen the movie)

"Diablo" is one of those bait-and-switch movies, like 2009's "A Perfect Getaway," where you're led to believe that the main character is the hero-protagonist, but the final act reveals that he (or she) is actually a monstrous criminal. It's a twist that makes you feel like a dumb axx for caring about the protagonist earlier. Pull-the-rug-out-from-under-you movies can be good, even great, but I have a distaste for this kind, where the protagonist is revealed to be a total scumbag.

The third act confirms that Jackson (Eastwood) suffers from schizophrenia/dissociative identity disorder and while killing the man played by Danny Glover his identities merge and he goes on a rampage.

So Jackson is the bad guy of the story, which explains his nickname and the title of the movie, Diablo, which is Spanish for "devil." He was never actually married to Alexsandra (Camilla Belle). The Mexican posse didn't kidnap her, but rather rescued her and were bringing her back home. Jackson obviously kidnapped her sometime before the start of the movie.

Jackson is certainly a human devil: He shoots up a hamlet of innocents and then murders Alexsandra and her husband when he sees that he can't have her.

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