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Wow. Movies like this are for me both a big surprise and a guilty
pleasure to watch. At first, I was doubtful that the Rock had the
screen presence or the acting ability to pull off a movie like this,
since I had only known him before as "the eyebrow guy from wrestling".
This movie proved me wrong and has rapidly moved up into my list of
Beck (The Rock) is somebody who chases down people that have irritated the mob, be it financially or socially. This is not his job of choice, however; he would rather own a restaurant. His bosses give him one final job: bring Travis (Sean William Scott, in a refreshing departure from the "horny idiot" style of movies) back from South America to the States. Beck finds Travis, but immediately runs afoul of Hatcher (Christopher Walken), who owns the mining town Travis lives in and wants something valuable that Travis has been looking for in the jungle. Then there are fights, running around from evil guys, more fights, monkeys, hallucinogenic fruit, and other such entertaining things.
Scott brought some well-done comic relief into the film with his quirky upbeat character. I could not stop laughing when Travis really tries to take on Beck in a contest of physical strength. It's like watching a caterpillar try and beat a Mack truck. Christopher Walken, as always, is a pleasure to watch. The man makes a perfect psychopath and I always brighten up when I see him on screen.
"The Rundown" is an excellent film which I would recommend to anyone who loves kinda-brainless (in a good way) action films. Bravo to the Rock. May he have a long and fruitful movie career.
And very funny.
I can honestly say I seriously doubted I would like this film and I only went to see it because it was on and I was there. I'd never seen a movie with The Rock before or even watched any wrestling so I was kind of dubious as to whether or not he would be any good.
In fact he was a great actor, full of personality and charisma, willing to make fun of himself and was great with the action. The Rock is definitely the next Arnie. Vin (Donald Duck) Diesel is the next Jean Claude Van Damme.
Seann William Scott was also pretty funny in a rare NOT Stifler performance. As an actor he does have genuine talent that's usually wasted in low-brow teen sex comedies.
The Rundown is a sort of Indiana Jones-lite movie. The Rock plays a bounty hunter/chef who is sent to track down Seann William Scott south of the border. Against his will The Rock ends up on a trek through the depths of the Mexican jungle looking for some ancient artefact. Unoriginal it may be but director Peter Berg keeps it moving with plenty of stunts, action and laughs. Christopher Walken's villain is a bit of a cardboard cut-out but how evil are you allowed to be in a PG-13?
I look forward to the next movie starring The Rock. With talks of a third Conan movie I can only imagine him being the best choice. And keep a lookout for Arnie in the nightclub at the very beginning. 'Have fun' is his only line. And fun The Rock will certainly have as the next BIG action hero.
Keep a lookout for Scottish actor Ewan Bremner (a zillion times the 'star' Ewan MacGregor is) in a funny role as a slob pilot.
With the demise of box office power for the action man and a loss of
interest from the public to watch the bad-ass hero, who says little but
kicks a lot of butt, the kings of the genre Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly
Stallone and Willis's careers as action men seems all but over. Van
Damme and Seagal were gone long ago. Should the main three want to do
mainly action movies for the rest of the careers then they may need to
do so in the DTV market. However, it does seem like the action movie
could be getting a second wind. We have a plethora of new action
heroes, none of whom will have the staying power of Schwarzenegger and
also respected actors who play everyday men like Tom Cruise, Matt
Damon, Nic Cage and Will Smith have turned in their fair share of
action movies. The Rock does seem the ideal new action man, with his
only real competition from wooden pretty boy Paul Walker and the now
seemingly cursed to do crap movies, Vin Diesel (who in truth would be
best as a baddie, like in Pitch Black.). The Rundown, while a box
office disappointment has performed well on video but more importantly
audiences really enjoyed it's delightfully 80's feel. It could almost
be taken from Sly or Arnolds early career. It's not loaded with a hip
new soundtrack, extreme sports or slick vehicles and loads of special
effects merely to lure youngsters in to see it. It's modernised and
stylised version of films like Commando (albeit much better than
that.). The simplistic, one-liner laden films I used to love.
Throughout the mid to late 90's as audiences got tired of that, and a
lot of seeming re-hashes and Sly and co doing movies very similar to
ones they had done before, meant that producers tried to give
characters to these guys with more depth, without getting someone to
write it decently and of course in the case of Schwarzenegger, trying
to give a 3 dimensional person to someone who can't act.
Now as for Sly and Willis they have wasted a lot of their career doing action movies because it doesn't stretch them as actors. They are good actors given good roles, people forget Stallone got an Oscar nomination. The Rock is more like Arnold. He's limited in his acting chops but has a charm and likeability and a good presence and we can expect no more from him than simple roles, where his prerequisite is simply to cause carnage and emote on the odd occasion. I am glad we could see a reinvention of 80's action movies, Jackie Chan breathed new life ot the martial arts genre throughout the late 90's and the first years of this decade, but they seem to be wearing thin now so it seems some good old fashioned superhuman carnage could be on the cards, there's even the possibility of a new Die Hard, Rambo, True Lies and some new films like Spy Hunter. Even Van Damme and co in DTV land are going back to basics and not trying to test their acting, because truth be told for 99% percent of these action stars it's a test where failure is inevitable and it's not what their fans really want.
The Rundown is simplistic stuff. You have a simple premise and a setting that is prepped and ready to be blown up. You have a strange mix of central characters, with The Rock and Sean William Scott. Meaning there will be plenty of fast jive talking and one liners. You have your thespian in their as the bad guy. Christopher Walken in this case and your ready, you have the basis for a good fun action movie. This is great fun. Arnold and Sly would be proud to have this on their CV. In fact it is on Arnies CV because he has a cameo at the start which is effectively him passing the torch on to the Rock. There are no twists and turns of any really note but the important thing is that it is nicely paced it has a nice glossy sheen to the cinematography. There are few hints at them aiming for a particularly young and hip-hop or Nu Metal demographic like Fast And Furious or Jet Li's films have done, thankfully. It's cool without going over the top and blowing it's wad. I like the fact this isn't made for pimply teenagers first and foremost. It's made for action lovers, it's a loving and subtle gift to young adults, 20 something's who watched the action films in the 80's and early 90's when they were undemanding, untainted fun and far form the marketed tripe we get now.
The Rock is good here. He has improved so much from The Scorpion King. He has charisma he's got a natural screen presence and a charm. In fact he's more natural than Arnold with his acting, he even has more of a vulnerable side (although not that much). I do think that given time the Rock will be better than his sensei. He has after all only just started. He won't however have as high a standard of movies. Let's not forget Arnold hasn't only done good action films but good films and classic movies with the first 2 Terminators. What the Rock now needs is a box office hit. He hit it big with Scorpion King but since then his movies have not been hits, Walking Tall being a flop. His next, Spy Hunter which sees him team with action maestro John Woo has got fantastic hit potential and potential to be as good as this film. Sean William Scott is also good. He does his Stifler thing again and it's good. It's almost as much to do with how the Rock plays and reacts off him that makes his role funny. Of course Christopher Walken is good and he has a trademark and hilariously intense speech about the tooth fairy that will have you in stitches. Rasario Dawson is also good.
The action is great, some of the best this year I have to say. It's old fashioned carnage, not reliant on CGI. It's imaginative stuff and well thought out as well as being well edited. The Rock is a great ass-kicker. He performs most of his own stunts and has real natural ability to put on a show with his fights, thanks largely to his WWE background. Peter Berg handles the set pieces with poise.
This is a highly entertaining flick, bringing back pleasant memories and is one of the best action films in years. ****
Yup, this is way hokey and one of the dumbest movies I own in my
collection, yet it's very likable and mostly a fun film with great
style and scenery.
An adventure story, played strictly for entertainment value, it mostly succeeds because Dwayne Johnson, better known as "The Rock," is a very likable hero. He's clean-cut, well-spoken, modest, etc. Supposedly this film was supposed to be The Rock grabbing the action mantle, so to speak, from the king - Arnold Schwarzenegger - who will no longer make movies. They even have Arnie make a quick cameo, wishing The Rock good luck! That was a good touch.
Meanwhile, Rock's cohort in this film, Seann William Scott, gets by with his sense of humor. It almost plays like one of these "buddy movies" except that these two guys ("Beck" and "Travis," respectively) are not on the same page about anything. In no other film can I recall two characters getting beat up and annihilated like these two guys....but they never seem the worse for wear! Unbelievable!
Rosario Dawson adds some female sex appeal and Christopher Walken adds his normal entertaining take on being the villain. His dialog was very good in here.
I didn't realize until the second time I watched it (which is where I stand now) just how stylishly this was filmed. This movie reminded me of many made by either Robert Rodriguez or Quentin Taranatino with the gimmick photography. It makes it all the more fun to watch. Add some excellent sound, tremendous Hawaiian scenery simulated to look the the Amazon jungle in Brazil......and you can put up with the stupidness of the story and have a good time.
Directed by Peter Berg, starring The Rock(The Mummy Returns), Seann
William Scott(American Pie) and Christopher Walken. The film was
considerd a flop when it hit theaters but made a surprisingly large
amount of money in DVD sales. After the film Seann William Scott got
into action films and did The Dukes of Hazzard.
The Rundown is very similar to the Robert Deniro film Midnight Run, but with Indiana Jones twist. The plot goes as follows: In order to get out of hock with mobster Billy Walker, restaurateur-turned-"retrieval expert" Beck has to go down to Brazil and retrieve Billy's archaeologist-wannabe son Travis, who is searching for an ancient gold idol called the Gato del Diablo. 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.
I enjoyed the movie. It is a great buddy comedy. Look for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the opening night club scene, "Have fun" is his only line. Well enjoy the movie, if you like it I suggester you check out Midnight Run and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's other action film Walking Tall.
After seeing The Rundown some odd sensation in me suggested that if
director Peter Berg had been more interested in surveying his characters in
his ultra-stinker debut, Very Bad Things that he could have had a
masterpiece on his hands. With that assumption stated it is hard to believe
that The Rundown is one of those rare films that physically pits its heroes
above their action. Allowing a story to build around natural causes instead
of setting up backdrops in order to initiate planned action sequences.
Existing somewhere between a big, dumb summer popcorn flick and a sincere alternative, staring into the eye of adventure, this is a film that is entertaining on almost all levels. We are given assurance to this early on in the film from none other than Arnold Schwarzennger when he tells star, the Rock to `have fun' while walking down the hall of a nightclub. Having had such a mighty torch passed to him so early on it would be a dishonour to expect anything less than off the wall amusement from the Rock. He in turn gives a performance in Beck that is so crisp and fresh that we believe he has the potential of a hero. Beck works for the bad guys, taking jobs that no man without a purpose would ever question. But the Rundown is a good movie, and a good movie knows enough that its characters need dimension. Thus Beck is a man who does have a purpose. He is aspiring to open his own restaurant. But in order to get the money to achieve his goal he takes one last job. The job finds himself traveling to Brazil to a small town called El Dorado in order find his bosses son Travis (Sean William Scott of American Pie) and bring him home, not an easy task as the duo quickly develop a strong love/hate relationship.
Along the journey we find another layered characteristic about Beck in that doesn't like guns. `You're the only American I know who doesn't like guns,' says an onlooker. But he doesn't like them because `bad things happen when I use guns.' And from watching Beck in hand-to-hand combat it is not hard to image what life would be like with a gun at his disposal.
What follows in the jungle is an action flick that I've already seen, in Gunmen and Indiana Jones. But Gunmen was a joke that no one seemed to be in on or, maybe it didn't realize it had one, but the Rundown does. Making it a lot easier to have a sense of humour about something that sees caricature in itself. We then encounter a villainous mine owner named Hatcher in Christopher Walken who says all the things that we tend to wonder when unbelievable circumstances are questioned in a serious film. Walken, an actor so aware of himself and his purpose that he seems to make even the most senseless dialogue meaningful, is given the films single best line. When asked by one of his henchmen if he thinks Beck and Travis are dead after driving off a cliff, Hatcher replies, `what am I, psychic.' He later outdoes himself and his character again when, after a stampede erupts in the middle of a town he utters impressively, `that's a lot of cows,' while watching a video monitor.
But Walken isn't the only key player with something unique to show. Rosario Dawson gives the most curios and understanding action performance from a female since Linda Hamilton stared in the Terminator, and the Rock proves that, although his acting range may be limited, that is no excuse for one dimensional character association. Scott also shows that his smart-alecky nature is not just reserved to the American Pie movies.
Then, in a near change of pace, somewhere around the halfway mark the Rundown changes from a mission of retrieval to a hunt for lost gold, and manifests other sub plots involving loyalty and a running joke about sexually active monkeys. Under the conditioning of a movie with the soul intent of an action basis this could have been a problem, but because the core of Berg's focus lies in the chemically imbalanced structure of his characters, we tend not to make a point of it. The motivations in Berg's direction come in his desire to avoid playing with ideas of violent behaviour. Analyzing his characters and explaining what prompts their involvement in violent circumstances. Making the obligatory action climax seem like more of a reward for good behaviour rather than a set-up for no better reason than to follow standards.
The an example of this happens in one of the best scenes from an action film I have seen all year, in which Beck is tempted into using a gun. In a genre that lives by the motto of `shoot first, ask questions later.' The idea of what would convince a man of honour to go against himself for the benefit of his temperament is equally as fascinating as it is exciting in its conclusions. The films cinematographer Tobias A. Schliessler, also disserves great credit for his masterfully filmed action sequences, that at times may also seem like too much, but when this degree of care and technique is put into something, its a strong tendency not to be bothered with such small criticism. As a result, making for some of the most poetic and electrifying action sequences since Daredevil. Although the Rundown may not be a perfect film, overlooking problems in pacing and the neglect of some under developed ideas, it is still one of the most enjoyable times I've had at the movies this year. Making me believe that what the Rock is cooking smells like nothing less than a great career as an action star.
Combination action, adventure, broad comedy, and buddy movie has The Rock well-cast as a 'retrieval expert' fed up with his occupation and looking for a way out. He agrees to one last job in which he travels to a remote village in South America to find his employer's delinquent son, but in the midst of his search he tangles with the town's greedy, megalomaniacal boss, embittered citizens, and gets caught up in a search to find a rare and priceless artifact. Engaging, high-energy action scenes, enthusiastic performances, and moments of genuine humor make this a blast from start to finish. Formulaic to be sure, but lots of fun with Walken adding a hilarious presence as Hatcher. ***
The Rock's newest one this weekend and found The Rundown to be
entertaining. Sure, the plot is nothing to sneeze at but
Christopher Walkin as the lead villain was wonderful. He has a
unique way of playing with the dialogue to make it quite funny.
William Scott is pretty darn hysterical and plays the second banana
The impressive find is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's performance. The
is getting better and better. I found his first one, The Scorpion
to be fun but not worth collecting. This one might have to be
though. His years of using a script and improvising in front of
multi-thousand seat auditorium has translated well to the screen and
has a sense of timing and ease in front of the cameras that has been
won. He obviously can handle the action aspects of the movie too but
with most action stars) I hear he wants to stretch his wings and
other stuff. That has the potential to be fine down the line but
see how he continues with the Action/Comedies first. Should
interesting to see how they do the Walking Tall remake. The original
was a pretty powerful movie with some seriously tense sequences.
Hopefully it won't be changed to much. Anyway, gonna have to give this one 3/4
The Rock has done it again! He has made another big screen hit, and this time, he has used every trick in the book from the WWE. The results: The Rundown! Playing a bounty hunter is definitely a good role for The Rock. He doesn't play around, and I think he should thank Martha Stewart for the cooking ideas. Better yet, it should the "E" man; Emeril Lagasse. For the voice he lends to the The Rock's character. I liked all the scenes in the movie, and even though they were pretty fast paced, the fun factor was never lost. Take the jungle scene, where all the rebels fight Beck, there was a lot of action there. And I think the humor was the backup factor there too. Rosario Dawson provided a lot of quality as well. I liked the part where she gave Beck(The Rock) and Travis(Seann William Scott) some of that funky fruit. And then they had to wake up with the monkeys, with what Beck had to put up with earlier in the movie. Christopher Walken was good playing the bad "a". It was funny, when he had the .44 automatic shot out of his hand, and had to choose Option A, the hard way. This movie had a lot to give, action, adventure, and comedy. What more do you want? Rating 3 out of 5 stars!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
** HERE BE SPOILERS **
Beck (The Rock) is running errands for a LA-mobster. His latest assignment, and his last before being set free, is to bring home the mobsters son Travis (Scott) who is hunting treasures in the deep Amazon jungle. Now Beck is a pretty competent bounty hunter, however now he become mixed up with Travis treasure-hunt, corrupted and cruel local boss Hatcher (Walken) and local rebels. Not to mention there is a jungle out there...
Now, before watching this I expected this to be an entertaining action movie with some explosions, choreographed hand to hand fights, some jokes and one-liners. I was disappointed. In one word one could sum up the movie to: Silly. The jokes were silly. Often with some adolescent humor or without any point. According to trivia the "lightning and thunder"-acts were improvised at first but kept in the movie because they were so funny. To whom? I just found them dull, stupid and silly. The fights were choreographed enough. Choreographed and defying gravity to the point you could "see" were the lines were attached to the actors that kept pretending to be superman and flew around. Predictable too, at first of course Beck took a beating few would survive but after getting mad enough just stood up and beat the crap out of everyone.
So, no suspense, just a few funny jokes, no good fights and actors that can do so much better. That counts for all of them but especially for Walken. However I believe that the major fault is that with the material at hand, no-one could have done better. And who got the brilliant idea to have Beck and Travis attacked by monkeys (baboons I believe) from Africa in the middle of the South-American jungle? And not to mention the free(?) commercial that XFL got...
There were only one memorable point from the entire movie, and that was Schwarzeneggers cameo, and that lasted for a couple of seconds at most. No, this was not good. The idea was nice, but please try again and do it better...
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