After eight years serving the U.S. Army Special Forces, Sergeant Chris Vaughn returns to his hometown seeking for a job in the local mill. He is informed by Sheriff Stan Watkins that the mill was closed three years ago and now the Wild Cherry Casino, owned by his former high school friend Jay Hamilton, is the major source of jobs and income to the town. Chris goes home, and meets his best-friend Ray Templeton, who organized a football game with their friends. After the game, Jay invites Chris and his friends to spend the night in his casino on him, but when Chris finds that the casino crabs dealer is cheating with loaded dice, he fights against the security men and is almost killed by them. When his nephew Pete overdosed on crystal meth sold by the security men at the casino, Chris realizes that the town is dominated by the mobsters and the corrupt sheriff and with a huge piece of wood, he breaks the casino and the criminals. He is prosecuted and in the trial, he promises to the jury ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Rock is the next great action hero. He has all the requisites. He is handsome, an amazing athlete with an awesome physique, charismatic, intelligent, and funny. His star power carries Kevin Bray's "Walking Tall".
The Rock is great in an entertaining movie. "Walking Tall" though great fun to watch, and capably produced and directed also punctuates that The Rock needs to work on more edgy and quality projects. He is definitely a movie star, who can become a solid actor.
"Walking Tall" has to overcome a very convoluted writing credit. This is not a retelling of the Bufford Pussor story, although its original screen writer, Mort Bristein, is acknowledged. This "Walking Tall" by David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien, and Brian Koppelman tells the story of returning Special Forces war hero Chris Vaughn (The Rock), who comes home to a small town outside Seattle. The town mill has been closed down, and his old high school bud, Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough), owns the new town casino and pretty much owns the local police too. Jay is not the man he remembered from his youth. Chris is forced to raise his hand reluctantly against Hamilton's men. They leave him for dead, and fortunately Chris survives. So Chris is out to right an injustice, and exact revenge with extreme prejudice. This "Walking Tall" resembles "First Blood" particularly in it's local and plot setting.
Props to Director Kevin Bray for delivering on the story line as Chris exacts his revenge. Bray has a clean and lean style. The action sequences are crisp and dramatic. The Rock truly excels in the fight sequences. For one thing he is an big strong guy, and when he is laying "the smack down" on the villains it is believable and thoroughly enjoyable. The bad guys truly get what they deserve.
The supporting cast is solid. Ashley Scott (almost unrecognizable from the short-lived "Birds of Prey") is good as the stripper with a big heart who is Chris's love interest. Johnny Knoxville (of "Jackass") is funny and charming as Chris's bud and deputy Ray.
I completely enjoyed "Walking Tall". It is a brisk 75 minutes of cool action, and has the star power of The Rock. I look forward to seeing more movies starring The Rock.
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