Saturday, June 6, 2015
WALKING TALL (2004)
Directed By: Kevin Bray
Written By: David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien & Brian Koppelman
Based on a earlier Screenplay By: Mort Briskin
Cinematography By: Glen MacPherson
Editor: George Bowers & Robert Ivison
Cast: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Johnny Knoxville, Neal McDonough, Ashley Scott, Kevin Durand, Michael Bowen, John Beasely, Kristen Wilson, Khleo Thomas, Cobie Smulders
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 and to the population that if he is acquitted, he would be a candidate for sheriff and clean up the town. Later, Sheriff Chris Vaughn has to fight against the organized crime to keep his promise.
This might not be one of his best, more like one of his average. But This film does prove that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is an appealing, charismatic and dangerous screen presence and action film star. A lot better than his debut in BE COOL. Proving that Arnold Schwartzenegger seemed to be right almost implying that he passed the action hero mantle to him the film THE RUNDOWN.
Dwayne Johnson has a consummate funny and clean cut image. He is more basic and comes across as a boy scout but a cool, open one. That makes me feel not as guilty when intend to enjoy films he appears in.
The film Is a nice starter project or action film. For the rock. As it is pretty much a cake walk to let him get his bearings as an action star. Obviously the audience intended for this film was teenage, young boys in particular. As the film is rather toothless, Lacking bite. People die but only it seems disposable villains. The best of the characters seem to get roughed up or best up badly. The core audience is the WWE wrestling audience at the time. As nothing in the film really sticks. You know where it is going always. So no real concern.
While this film is still produced and therefore under the WWE moniker. You can begin to see him breaking out of his wrestling image and becoming more of an actor or at least action star. Here he luckily doesn't embarrass himself at all.
Now I haven't seen the original walking tall. So it is hard to compare the two films. Here the film plays within it's walls by being pretty basic but adding some flavor and sensations in itself. There isn't anything too much of note, but it isn't boring.
This is more what studios I believe hope for when it comes to reimagining or remakes. A title not too popular or synonymous Though not exactly a classic and update it just enough to be a crowd pleaser and have a new generation become fans of the film whole being a respectable update. That doesn't break the formula.
The film moves quick and gets to it's main point quickly. Even though the problems that seem to be taking over are more stock problems that you see in most films of this type.
The action scenes are more of the hand to hand fighting variety. There is some gun play, but it is rare that the heroes use it. More of a villains weapon as they are more cowardly and lazy.
The film has enough action, but not a lot
Plus,Though I understand he has to be some kind of military expert to explain how he can take out so many bad guys. I would just once to see a film where a guy is just tough and not necessarily have a certain set of skills (Like Liam Neeson in the TAKEN movies) that were taught in the military
At the beginning when Chris Vaughn asks the sheriff what happened to the former sheriff it is said that the guy was a great man but they found one day he had mysteriously skidded off a deserted road and died hitting a tree. This is a reference to how the real Buford Pusser died.
Though the film does have a entertainment value, due to the leading man skills of Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson and also the comic relief of Johnny Knoxville. Johnny Knoxville is a welcome comedic element. Even in action scenes they don't make him an unstoppable fighter, but at least he tries and he doesn't actually kill anyone. Though his character is a bad boy of the town. What always works when it comes to Knoxville in movies is that usually no matter who you pair him up with. He has chemistry and camaraderie with them. Especially it seems with action stars as he plays a similar role in THE LAST STAND with Arnold Schwartzenegger. Playing the town oddballs usually. He even executes co-star Dwayne Johnson's signature WWE finisher, "The People's Elbow
The film has the requisite love interest played by Ashley Scott, who is a stripper therefore bar girl with a heart of gold who grew up with Johnson's character and has a soft spot for him and feelings. Who he can save both physically, romantically and spiritually. Who is only there for girlfriend role and to do double duty as eye candy as a former exotic dancer, but doesn't do much except require to be protected and saved. Not to mention be scantily clad here and there
The film is PG-13 and get rating is written all over it as it plays more for teens. Who will probably appreciate the film the most. as the violence goes only to a certain degree as does the sex scene that has some revealing skin but not too much. As the camera cuts away at the right times.
For a good clip, The film becomes more comedic with it's violence and situations. It is annoying when it tries to do it's grandstanding with it's earnestness and justice.
The villain doesn't even seem to be much of an enemy. The only time he gets the drop on him is by accident and sneaking up on him.
This seems like a weekend afternoon movie. That is entertaining yet disposable. Keeps you interested and busy for a certain amount of time. Before you continue with the rest of your day. I other words a perfectly acceptable time waster.
Somehow it is easy to get lost in a bad movie even though you know exactly where it is going to go or is going. Same background, same scenery. Even the sights look familiar
The film is not good but passable. Not a total waste of time, just no surprises or originality.