Hollywood is a tough business. Getting your name out there is a very hard thing to do. In order to do it, you basically have to go out of your way and market yourself in whatever role you are good at. This is not only about actors, but also directors, writers, cinematographers, everybody has to do it and there isn’t a better calling card for filmmakers than actually making a film and putting it out there. The issue that becomes obvious when you are in this process is that making films is hard. There are so many elements in the mix when it comes to making a film, and if even one or more of those elements doesn’t meet the standards, then the whole film is ruined. Dangerous, the new Scott Eastwood film that arrives at streaming this week, seems to be one of those films made to market oneself. Does it accomplish its goals?
Dangerous is directed by David Hackl and stars Scott Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Durand, and Famke Janssen. The film tells the story of Dylan Forrester, a reformed sociopath with violent tendencies who has had a very rough patch in life. When his brother dies, Dylan decides to go to his funeral, but his violent past follows him, and he might put in danger an entire set of people he might care about.
Scott Eastwood has been working in Hollywood for quite a bit. Of course, being the son of Clint Eastwood, a living legend, comes with perks, but also with a lot of cons. Scott might have his father’s looks, but it is very clear that he lacks the charisma that made his father a superstar. So, Scott has been trying very, very hard to prove himself as a performer and a filmmaker in his own right. Scott produces this film, and it is basically a calling card for him as an actor and as a producer. Sadly, the quality of the production screams cheap at every corner, and the result is a film that feels outdated and dull in almost every aspect.
David Hackl isn’t the most technical proficient of directors. His filmography peaked with the fifth installment of the Saw franchise, and he has only made low-budget direct-to-video fare since then. To be honest, some of those movies can be fun, if they are earnest about making a good movie, even with their lack of resources. Dangerous is a strange being in this aspect, as there’s a clear lack of vision. The direction is basically non-existent. Hackl lacks any sense of composition, and he seems to conform himself to finding the movie in the editing bay. Which is really sad because the movie gives plenty of opportunities to make something that could stand out in the straight-to-video market.
Dangerous is basically a Die Hard type of movie, putting Eastwood’s psycho character inside one location with a bunch of bad guys. This has the potential for some really cool action sequences and the use of the location as its own character, but Hackl never seizes the opportunity.
Eastwood does bring a couple of name actors into the film to make it a bit more lustrous. Mel Gibson makes apparitions here and there, and the actor still has all the charisma that made him a star so many years ago. But his appearance in the film can be summed up as nothing more than a cameo. The same happens with Tyrese, which appears very early on and then disappears from the film. Janssen does the same even when her character is a bit more involved in the story.
The main bulk of the film is shared between Eastwood and a number of unknown actors who are doing the best they can with the material. Sadly, the script doesn’t really amount to much and many parts of the dialogue, plot, and character development feel forced and familiar to anyone who has ever seen an action film. Only Destiny Millns comes off as a charming figure thanks to having a lot of charisma. It would be great to see her doing bigger and better stuff in the future.
For an action film, well… the action lacks any sense of impact. We’re living in a post-The Raid world. Remembering that The Raid was done on a shoelace budget and still managed to become a modern classic in the genre must be on every filmmaker’s mind when they try to get their hands into the genre. Here in Dangerous, it is very clear that the actors lack training and action choreography was nothing better than an afterthought. It makes the movie feel tacky and even a waste of time when there are so many other cool movies around putting the effort into creating spectacular action at a cost.
Dangerous might not be the ticket, Eastwood thought it could be. He isn’t a bad performer, but productions like this one might cement his reputation as a second rate version of his father. And it would be very sad if that is all that amounts to Scott Eastwood and his efforts. He can do so much better.