By: John M Jerva
Actor Scott Eastwood has one of the most famous and iconic surnames in Hollywood history. The man’s father is a living icon and legend and I applaud Scott for going into the family business and making it his mission to make a name for himself. The young man is definitely on the right track having starred in some pretty heavy films like The Fate of the Furious and the criminally underrated The Outpost. The latter is one of the best war films made, period. Let’s not forget about his devious turn as a ruthless bank robber in Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man. Watching him on screen and you can definitely see his father in him in the way he acts and movies.
We’re not here to talk about Clint though and with the new movie Dangerous, that’s hitting this Friday, Scott Eastwood is ready to emerge out of the shadows of his famous dad and has found a juicy role to sink his teeth into and make his own. This is Scott’s best film, besides The Outpost, to date and one that’ll definitely open up more avenues for him and hopefully a franchise as well as I want to seen more of Dylan Forrester, the character he plays in the film, as he is nothing short of fantastic and intriguing to say the least.
Dangerous hails from director David Hackl, who is best known for Saw V and Daughter of the Wolf, and this is an action-thriller that is so much more than what is advertised. Sure it boasts an all-star cast like Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Durand, Famke Janssen and the one and only Mel Gibson but this is definitely Scott’s show and he steals it in every scene that he’s in.
Eastwood stars as Dylan Forrester, or D, who is an ex-con and diagnosed sociopath who is trying to move on from his violent past as he quietly takes a heap of medication and constantly chats with his eccentric psychiatrist played by an equally scene stealing Mel Gibson. Dylan, as part of his therapy, is trying to reconnect with his estranged brother but when the latter dies under mysterious circumstances, Dylan makes it his mission to find out what happened.
Unfortunately for Dylan, that means breaking parole and having an eager FBI agent (Famke Janssen) hot on his trail. Arriving on a secluded island where his brother was renovating an old bed and breakfast, Dylan starts probing into the tragedy while trying to reconnect with his bitter mother while a wily local security guard (Tyrese Gibson),who is suspicious of Dylan from the get go, gets in the way.
Things go from bad to worse when a heavily armed team of mercenaries led by Cole, a brooding and quietly scary Kevin Durand, invade the island because they want what Dylan’s brother has been hiding. It seems that the deceased sibling was into something big and the team of killers want it in a bad way.
Now Dylan must resurrect his violent tendencies and no care attitude to help save the day. It doesn’t make it any easier that he has a disorder that makes him not care about anyone or anything. Like I said, the man’s a diagnosed sociopath and he might just be worse than the men who have raided the island.
From the get go, Eastwood shines as Dylan who is the very epitome of an anti-hero. The character is just flat out interesting and Eastwood plays him with a quiet and subdued anger. Dylan needs medication to control himself and he needs to use cue cards so he knows how to act and relate to people. He was a very bad and “dangerous” man at one time but now he is trying to turn the page on his life. This is Eastwood’s most juiciest role to date and this is the kind of character that you want to see more of.
Eastwood’s star studded supporting cast all bring something to the table and even though some of them are only in a handful of scenes, they still are able to leave an impact. Tyrese Gibson is probably more of an extended cameo here and I did feel that it was a missed opportunity not to have him interact with Eastwood more for the Fast and Furious reunion.
Famke Janssen, best known for playing Jean Grey in the original X-Men films, is serviceable here as the FBI agent on Dylan’s trail but her character doesn’t add much to the proceedings. She pops up every so often but she does get to have a solid scene with Gibson.
The best collaborators for Eastwood are Kevin Durand and Mel Gibson. Durand is perfect for the role of antagonist Cole, a career criminal fixer, as he is a giant of subdued rage just waiting to explode. He’s got ice in his veins and his interactions throughout are great. I don’t go into spoilers here but there is some serious baggage and history between Durand’s character and Eastwood and I would have loved to see that fleshed out more as there was a definite showing of violent affection between the two.
As Dylan’s eccentric and unorthodox psychiatrist, Mel Gibson is only in a handful of scenes but he’s terrific and the banter between him and Eastwood’s Dylan is great. Gibson always plays these types of nonconformist roles so well and here he brings his weighty gravitas and more in the limited amount of screen time he has.
Dangerous, like I said, is more than a traditional action movie. Hackl plays the movie as more of a dark comedy infused cat and mouse thriller punctuated by sure fire beats of action. Eastwood, for a majority of the movie, doesn’t want to resort to his bad habits and it’s a great character arc for him to see how he handles the dilemma that is thrown at him. You know what he’s capable of and when he finally lets loose, it’s satisfying for genre fans. Unfortunately, the film does suffer from some pacing issues especially in the middle but the last act makes up for it.
One of the best scenes in the film happens when during a firefight, Dylan makes a phone call to Gibson. As the bullets whiz by his head, Dylan asks him if it’s ok to use violence. You know because somebody is shooting at you. This sequence is a fine example and a funny one at that on how just complex and original Dylan is as a central character.
Overall, there are missed opportunities and pacing issues but for the most part Dangerous is a welcome addition to 2021. Scott Eastwood is terrific in the not so politically correct role of Dylan and this is a movie character that just screams franchise potential. The all-star supporting cast show up and deliver and while I would have liked to see some relationships fleshed out more, it’s still worth it to see these actors.
Dangerous isn’t an action packed film but I enjoyed that factor as when the violence does come, it’s satisfying and serves the plot well. Eastwood is hands on in the physical department and I certainly want to see him lead more action projects in the future. He’s the right kind of bad here and I’m crossing my fingers that somehow we’ll see Dylan again. After all, how many sociopathic anti-heroes do we see in the genre today? Exactly…