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Awesome: 22%
Worth A Look52%
Just Average: 8%
Pretty Crappy: 4%
Sucks: 14%

6 reviews, 64 user ratings

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Rundown, The
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by EricDSnider

"Action, laughs and Christopher Walken."
4 stars

When Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson burst onto the movie scene with his role in "The Mummy Returns" (2000), all of America sat up and took notice: "Here is a guy who cannot act!" America thought. "We hope he returns promptly to TV wrestling, whence he came!"

But he did not return to wrestling, or at least his returning to wrestling did not prevent him from continuing to appear in other places. He guested on "Saturday Night Live" and demonstrated comedic skill and a willingness to utterly debase himself for the sake of a joke. He reprised his "Mummy Returns" role in "The Scorpion King" (2002), a very bad film in which The Rock was given such a bad screenplay that he appeared to have no talent whatsoever. But the "SNL" performances suggested that when he had something to work with, he could be good.

Now comes "The Rundown," a perfectly delightful comedy adventure, a sort of smart-aleck, frenetic "Raiders of the Lost Ark" set in the jungles of Brazil. The Rock comports himself extremely well, handling the demanding physicality and the comic dialogue with equal agility. I hesitate to say anything as conclusive (or trite) as "a star is born," but ladies and gentlemen, get a load of this guy!

He plays a bounty hunter named Beck who is sent to the Amazon mining village of El Dorado to retrieve the son of an organized-crime guy. The mouthy, belligerent son, Travis, is of course played by Seann William Scott, for who else plays mouthy, belligerent 20-somethings these days?

The mine is run by an American named Hatcher (Christopher Walken) who has managed to gain ownership of his employees' lives, thanks to charging them outrageous living expenses, not to mention blackmail and strong-arm tactics. Consequently, Travis could not leave even if he wanted to, and he doesn't want to: He believes he has located a legendary treasure of untold financial worth. Hatcher wants this thing, too, which is why he doesn't just shoot Travis and Beck when Beck whisks him away, kicking and screaming.

Thus begins a chase, with a beleaguered Beck dragging Travis through the Amazon, while both are being pursued by Hatcher's men. To further complicated matters, there are anti-Hatcher rebels lurking about; they have a friend in Mariana (Rosario Dawson), a mining-village girl who also wants the aforementioned treasure in order to free her people from Hatcher's rule.

It's possible there's a human rights message somewhere in all this, but darned if I care. The film, directed by Peter Berg ("Very Bad Things") and written by TV scribe R.J. Stewart and James Venderbilt ("Darkness Falls," "Basic"), is often deliriously entertaining. The Rock and Scott's interaction is snappily, snarkily funny, and their fight scenes -- especially The Rock's smackdown with a whole group of rebel fighters -- are outrageously energetic and fun.

And can we talk about Christopher Walken? Here is a guy who clearly loves being an actor, who doesn't care how bad a movie sucks, he'll appear in a couple scenes just because it's fun. I bet he'd work for free, if you could promise him some absurd, juicy dialogue to wrap his distinctive delivery around. Look at the average-to-bad movies he's livened up with brief appearances just in the past three years: "Gigli," "Kangaroo Jack," "Country Bears," "Poolhall Junkies," "America's Sweethearts," "Joe Dirt," "Scotland, Pa." "The Rundown" is actually a good movie, and he has a large part in it, and the more Christopher Walken we get to see, the more I'm entertained. He speaks every line here like he wrote it himself -- or, more accurately, like he didn't write it all, like it just spontaneously fell out of his insane, fun-loving head.

But back to the film. Beck refuses to use guns for most of the film, saying he's had bad experiences with them in the past. This is a wise decision. When the film ultimately, inevitably, does become gun-heavy, it certainly loses its creative edge. (Movies about guys who shoot at each other are woefully plentiful already, thank you.) But what a lively trip it is otherwise! It's one of the year's great surprises.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8182&reviewer=247
originally posted: 09/29/03 21:31:26
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell action & humor blend well 4 stars
8/25/13 DB I love action movies in general, but this one sucks! 1 stars
7/19/08 Shaun Wallner The Rock is a great actor! 5 stars
7/14/08 sweetgrrl1972 Surprisingly fun movie! The Rock proved he had chops in this. 4 stars
10/19/07 john great screenplay by james vanderbilt 5 stars
10/13/06 AJ Muller B-movie rises to A-level based on entertainment value alone; just have fun, okay?!? 5 stars
5/31/06 R.W.Welch Over-the-top actioner with intricate choreography. Works reasonably well. 3 stars
4/21/06 Jack Awesome! 5 stars
9/01/05 Tom Burns My favorite movie with The Rock. Loved it! 5 stars
7/24/05 Steve Newman Film entertained my 12 yr old (he says awesome) - i thought it was rubbish - stay clear 2 stars
5/01/05 Valerie The Rock rocks in this movie! 5 stars
4/24/05 Quigley the rock could never survive the stuff he suffes but a good film. But no more Sean W. Scott 3 stars
4/08/05 B Kniprath Very good action packed movie. 4 stars
3/04/05 Dan Good movie. 4 stars
1/31/05 axe Are they out of the jungle yet? *YAWN* 3 stars
11/18/04 JIZZ I think i could together a better movie about deficating than this could ever be 1 stars
11/10/04 Misti Very funny, not what I expected. Seann William Scott is hilarious 4 stars
11/07/04 Tony U c the Rock get smacked the fuck up and he still isn't tired or hurt 4 stars
7/09/04 qemm definetly way better then you would expect from a movie with the rock and seann scott in it 4 stars
7/03/04 I love Ernie Reyes Jr. This is an awesome movie. Seann William Scott is sooo hot. 5 stars
6/07/04 Tiit very good action 5 stars
5/05/04 J.Peckerfoot i wasnt expecting meet joe black and i didnt get it.good action com! 4 stars
4/21/04 M "stifler" is so fukn annoyin!!!! gets an averge for rippling muscles 3 stars
4/16/04 Michael Greenwaldt Entertaining! 4 stars
4/12/04 Vince Brainless action movie, crap script. A few impressive action scenes though. 2 stars
4/07/04 mongoose0111 OH MY GOD does this film suck!!! 1 stars
3/27/04 Kev Sounds like some people took it waaaaaay too seriously. 5 stars
3/23/04 K Sucks harder than your mom 1 stars
3/14/04 KEZZA I'm with Jack, sorry Chloe - it Rocks (get it?) 5 stars
3/14/04 Jack No waste of time because it wasnt total crap 4 stars
1/23/04 Chloe Brody Waste of my fucking time! 1 stars
1/17/04 esquire not too freaking serious which i liked & just good fun! 5 stars
1/15/04 Helen Bradley Rubbish what a waste of money 1 stars
1/09/04 Nefertiri I love that movie.. I love The Rock... poor Rock He have been humped by the horny monkeys> 5 stars
1/01/04 Long River BORING 2 stars
12/28/03 jas sucks! So goddamn stupid 1 stars
11/27/03 John it's only good if you have never seen a good action movie 3 stars
11/06/03 Cameron Slick Brings good new inventions to the tired buddy action film. 4 stars
11/02/03 melfl it was a very funny and good movie. 5 stars
10/20/03 Christian Harding Great Mvie 4 stars
10/19/03 Igor Im not sure why I liked it. Maybe because my expectations were so low. Oh well. 5 stars
10/18/03 Frodogandy I expected it to suck ass, but it rocked! Rosario has tig ol' bitties! 5 stars
10/17/03 fiddla on da roof so good-i want to have gay sex with myself 5 stars
10/16/03 Josh Standlee Nothing but great entertainment the whole way through! Loved it! 5 stars
10/16/03 jacques This movie was pretty good. 4 stars
10/06/03 Lola Farjardo Did anyone see the movie The Rundown? I finally did, and I must say I thought the storyline 2 stars
10/06/03 Ken Tonn The movie was really awsome. 5 stars
10/06/03 joconnell Pure fun! 4 stars
10/04/03 Jiz Rock acting? Scott funny? Strange day, but true. The monkey scene was retarded though. 4 stars
10/03/03 nick2k i was afraid the walken/rock/scott mix...but it wasn't crap at all. wow... 4 stars
10/01/03 Jestyr gonna agree with most everyone else. not bad, its a good fun film. 4 stars
9/30/03 Heath Good cinematography and decent acting - especially Walkins! 4 stars
9/29/03 Duckman damn funny show 4 stars
9/29/03 Obi Wan Surpisingly good. Rock was very good, action was good and comedy was on point! Nice Cameo 5 stars
9/28/03 othree buyable choreographed fun, The Rock is always a solid character ;) 4 stars
9/27/03 jimmy james its ok, and would be better if you are 15 3 stars
9/27/03 srburns Fun popcorn movie 4 stars
9/26/03 KingNeutron Some good comic moments, Rock's best movie so far. 3 stars
9/26/03 Rod Johnston This is a sweet movie. I can really smell what the Rock is cookin! 5 stars
9/26/03 R Sanchez A fun, silly b movie. The Rock surprised me, he can actually act and he and Walken make it 4 stars
9/21/03 The F-Bomb it was fucking awesome! horny monkeys!!! 5 stars
9/20/03 michaelb14 saw a sneak preview, great popcorn flick, the rock was actually funny, and great action 5 stars
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  26-Sep-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 23-Mar-2004



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