Being the son of a famous actor/director can do a lot of things to a man's career. It could help mold it and make them a breakout star or it could easily damage it and forever make the person hated by many. For Scott Eastwood to say his father's shoes are a little big to fill is well a huge understatement. Let's face when it comes to Clint Eastwood its not hard to conjure up those memories of his films in the western genre. But like I read and found out that Scott would get scripts for westerns all the time nearly a 100 of them before he settled on this movie because for some reason the story really stood out for him.
Taking place in the Colorado territory the film drops us seven years after the end of the Civil War and former soldier Jackson (Eastwood) is living his life and hiding from a horrible secret that pops up during the course of the movie. But it is when a posse of Mexican bandits attack and make off his with his wife all while setting fire to his house and barn. Jackson grabs his horse and gun and takes after them. His journey takes him across the rugged terrain as he is shot at and nearly killed. Saved by a young Indian boy he is brought back from the brink of death only to turned away when he deemed too crazy. But its his path of revenge that leaves a behind more bodies than one can imagine.
The film itself does have a few plot holes that leaves one to wonder who were Jackson and his wife before all of this happened to take place. You get details here and there about Jackson's time served on the military and his legacy thanks to it. But let's face it when it comes to a shoot 'em up western you sometimes don't need that much of a story to tell. The filming of the movie's landscape is beautifully done as the use of a drone to capture the over head shots was very well done. The snowy terrain of Colorado was filmed in Canada and it was breath-taking. The score is even reminiscent of Ennio Morricone's work on the movies that starred Clint. So its safe to say this film is beautifully done on its small budget.
But the real question is does Scott Eastwood measure up to his father?
The answer is slightly, he nails the mannerisms that made his father famous in the western genre and everything. But its the script that makes him fall flat and a little hard to get behind as a character. Its ashame when he's done in acting wise by Walton Goggins, whose turn in the western genre is double duty in 2015 as he's most likely and hopefully nominated for an Oscar for Quentin Tarantino's Hateful Eight but that movie has to little bearing to this movie. The film's climax which just like his dad was a classic shoot out and a nice little twist at the end but it ends with leaving the viewer the one to make the assumption for the end of the film. So while its not the greatest western out there I will have to say for the moment its one of the few better one's of last year. I would recommend it for western lovers based on the fact it will give them that chance to see what Clint's boy is like in his shoes.
reviewed by Bucky