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I hate wrestling, but when I saw "The Rundown" last year I had to admit, The
Rock is one cool guy, and a perfect action star. He's big and tough, but
most importantly he's charismatic and has a sense of humor and a certain
softness that actually makes him seem somewhat vulnerable. This is what sets
him apart from someone like Vin Diesel, who was all set to be the next big
action star but never was because he has no personality or sense of humor.
"Walking Tall" is a remake of a 1973 based-on-fact film about a man who
fights back against corruption in his town by becoming sheriff and waging
war on the bad guys. I haven't seen the original, but I'm willing to bet
it's closer to the truth than the 2004 "Walking Tall", which is packed with
more machine guns, axes, exploding trucks, and gunfighting strippers than
anything that's "based on fact" could possibly be.
Here, Vaughn returns home after years of being away to find his hometown in
shambles and dependent on a corrupt casino run by drug-dealing,
knife-wielding thugs. After he receives a brutal beating and his nephew
(Khleo Thomas, from "Holes") nearly overdoses on crystal meth bought there,
the war is on. My inner 12 year-old says "Woohoo!".
Yes, this film is ridiculously over the top. It's also completely
predictable. But it's FUN. A lot of fun, in fact. It's extremely fast paced,
well-acted, the action scenes are excellent, and at just under 80 minutes,
it's exceptionally lean too. Not one unnecessary or drawn-out scene.
"Walking Tall" doesn't aim to be anything except old-fashioned popcorn
entertainment, and it succeeds, yet it has been made with surprising
artistry as well. The cinematography is very good, and there are some
interesting things done with sound and unexpected fade-outs. Also, Vaughn is
an interestingly complex hero (complex as far as these movie go, anyway). At
one point, when he clearly wants to bring a loaded shotgun into a fight with
him, he hesitates, and brings a less-deadly 2x4 instead. It's a neat moment.
So it's not going to be winning any awards any time soon. But I had a really
good time, plain and simple, and the audience I saw it with did
Tags for Walking Tall Full Movie
, Johnny Knoxville
, Michael Bowen
, Neal McDonough
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