A retired elite Black Ops Commando launches a one man war against a group of South American criminals who have kidnapped his daughter to blackmail him into starting a revolution and getting an exiled dictator back into power.
Mark L. Lester
Rae Dawn Chong,
Master explorer Dirk Pitt goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the "Ship of Death" in the deserts of West Africa while helping a WHO doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator.
Chris Parker agrees to babysit after her "dread" date stands her up. Expecting a dull evening, Chris settles down with three kids for a night of TV... and boredom. But when her frantic ... See full summary »
The Rock as a bounty hunter who attempts to square a debt by heading to the Amazon jungle to capture someone. The bounty hunter discovers that his quarry isn't the bad guy he'd been warned about, and the two team up in pursuit of riches stored in a mine in the Amazon. Written by
Beck and Travis were attacked by African baboons. See more »
Emeril Lagasse (on radio):
I just love mushrooms. One of my favorites, or as I call it, "the king of mushrooms," is the porcini. Now stop right there. Don't be alarmed. There's a lot of confusion in this country between porcini, the Italian name, and cèpes, which is the French name. They're fat and they're earthy. Now the porcini is most often seen dried here in this country. And they would always be labeled "dried porcinis," not "dried cèpes." OK? They are very, very, very flavorful.
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In the U.S. version, the only opening credit (after the Universal and Columbia logos) is "The Rundown" - and that appears eight minutes into the film. All other credits (actors, director, producers, writers, et al.) appear at the end of the film. See more »
One-sentence summary: "Midnight Run" meets the classic Arnie formula in this excellent, surprising action movie.
There's a scene very late into "The Rundown" where the lead hero decides to go against his short-standing morals and pick up guns in order to fight for his friends, despite arguing that he never would earlier in the movie. "Even Santa Claus would pick up a gun to help out a friend!" he is told by a loudmouth. "Are you saying I'm Santa Claus?" asks the hero. The audience laughs at the irony of the situation.
The irony, of course, is that Santa Claus is a jolly old fat man, and the hero of "The Rundown" is a young, lean, muscular, lethal weapon--the exact opposite of Mr. Claus' unflattering, universally-regarded image.
And in case you need an introduction to The Rock, a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson, he is a well-known wrestler, son of Rocky Johnson. He is famous for his own unique slamming move and great skills. Obviously I don't know much about wrestling, as you can plainly gather from reading my rather short and uneducated bio of the man.
But regardless of any of this, here he is in this movie. The Rock is Beck, a "retrieval expert." He is hired by rich people to seek out certain things--people, objects, etc.--and return them to the payer. In the opening sequence he walks into a crowded bar filled with football megastars. After politely demanding a ring from one of the husky players, he is thrown out of the bar by fellow football team members. So Beck gets on the phone with his boss. "Do we have to do this now?" he asks. "They've really got a chance this year!"
The answer, of course, is that he must do it now, and what he does is a lot of fun--he beats them up, one-by-one, bare-handed and using only his fists as weapons--evoking a sort of Jean-Claude Van Damme image. Only...better.
Prior to this scene, Arnold Schwarzenegger stops Beck while he's entering the bar. He tells him to have a good time with the typical Arnie grin, then leaves. That's when we realize we're about to have a fun time, and it only gets better from there.
Beck's newest assignment is to locate Travis (Seann William Scott), a young man who is residing in the Amazon and is worth a lot of money to his estranged father, who wants his son back--for unspecified reasons. Beck doesn't ask questions, he just retrieves what he's told to retrieve--like a golden retriever, I suppose.
After making the trip to El Dorado, a.k.a. Helldorado, Beck finds himself being pursued by Hatcher (Christopher Walken), a ruthless millionaire miner who owns much of the land surrounding the area--and wants Travis for himself, so that he can tell him where an ancient artifact lies.
So, on the run with Travis and being pursued by Hatcher and his men, Beck is left with few options. There's option A and option B. A is leave Travis and return home, forget his job and open up a new restaurant he's been saving up for. Option B is confront Hatcher, bring Travis back to his father, collect his reward and open his restaurant.
He does, of course, choose the latter of the two options.
There's a brilliant scene at the end of this movie that sent a strong chill up my spine. Travis is being shot at, calling for help, and Beck is scared to pick up weapons to defend his friend. The director Peter Berg, the former actor, raises the tension by splicing together various images at exceeding speed. And then finally they all immediately stop and we see Beck rise upwards, in typical slow motion, holding two guns in his hands. The audience is quiet and a chill is sent throughout the screening room. We all know that hell has finally been unleashed. After refusing to pick up guns throughout the movie for fear of what may happen to his enemies, Beck has turned on his morals and it's time to kick some butt. This is pure action stuff, delivered with great expertise, and its effect is startlingly powerful.
All in all, I absolutely loved it.
Prior to seeing "The Rundown," I wasn't sure if I wanted The Rock to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. After seeing "The Rundown," I must say that I don't really mind if he becomes half as good as Arnold. Granted, I somewhat doubt if he'll ever become the same box office titan. Arnold was the first of his kind in both bodybuilding and action movies. He's had a lot of pale imitators, right down to the "muscle men with accents" category. He is, to this day, unrivaled by any muscular action hero. Just like there will never be another Eastwood, there will never be another Arnold. But as far as they go, The Rock is one of his better imitators, which says something.
"The Rundown" is rated PG-13 but plays like a good R-rated action movie. It's very good and will not disappoint any action fans that feel that the genre has been somewhat lacking recently. After "Terminator 3" and "The Rundown," though, it looks like we may be starting to get back on track after all.
As for Beck? I have a feeling he'll be back.
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