THE RUNDOWNA SOLID ACTION FLICK | Sept 23, 2003
In theatres Sept 26, 2003
The Rundown was the most fun I’ve had with an action film since Pirates, and it was one of the very few I’d gladly watch again. Those of you that had a hard time comprehending the storyline of Once Upon, don’t worry. This is a straightforward action ride, and a very very good one at that. I can’t remember the last time an action film made me say “WHOA!” this many times! It totally rocks!
Basically The Rundown is about a debt collector/bounty hunter named Beck (Duane Johnson, aka The Rock), who just needs to complete one more job before he can pay off his debts and fulfill his dreams of becoming a big time restaurant owner. He gets hired to track down his boss’s son, Travis (Sean William Scott), who’s made the mistake of messing around with another man’s wife. Beck finds Travis in the jungles of South America, hunting the legendary Gato del Diablo, in a little town called El Dorado. El Dorado happens to be run by a greedy “slave” driver by the name of Hatcher (Christopher Walken), who won’t let Beck escort Travis back to LA until he finds the legendary Gato. To make a long story short, Beck and Travis team up to find the lost treasure, while doing their best to foil the plans of the evil Hatcher.
But you’re not seeing this film for the story. It’s all about the action, and this film delivers. Each action sequence fully tops the one before it, as should be the case in a good action film. While The Rock’s character is strongly anti gun, it gives him a great chance to utilize his trademark moves, such as the rock bottom, creating some truly unique, extremely awesome fight sequences. Although to describe the fights would rob them of their whoa factor, I can say The Rock shows a lot of promise toward becoming the next big action hero. He has the moves, the attitude, and charisma; characteristics that fellow contender Vin "Dee-suh" so sorely lacks. After seeing this, I’d have to say he’s the true heir to Schwarzenegger’s throne. In fact, my favorite California Gubernatorial Candidate makes a small cameo at the beginning of the film. Even Arnold approves of The Rock!
Aside from The Rock you have excellent performances by Sean William Scott, Rosario Dawson, and Christopher Walken. Walken delivers his trademark quips, while Sean William manages to play a fairly Stiffler-free role. Each character is well rounded, and you truly care about them as the film progresses. I loved every character in this film. Even the baddies!
The Rundown was a lot of fun. While The Scorpion King was fairly mediocre, The Rundown truly delivers. If you’re not a fan of The Rock yet, this movie will convert you.
Ditto man, ditto!
Okay, I wasn’t expecting much. I figured the Rock=hunk, Stifler=comedy relief. I was worried that the latter’s jokes would get irksome mid-way through and I’d be squirming in my seat waiting for endless, mindless action scenes to cease. NOT SO. This was a rambunctious joyride that seriously would not quit! Elements of Indiana Jones, inventive + memorable fight sequences, and a refreshing aversion to gun-toting leading men made us whoop and cheer. Whole-hearted applause erupted over a dozen times at our little screening.
The Rock was the only reason why I sat through The Scorpion King and I’m so glad that this will act as a segueway + springboard to a healthy career as beefy action hero. His facial expressions and ability to shift from kicking ass to humour to warm generosity will further fuel his future success. I hope Hollywood is taking notice. Sean William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Ewen Bremner (“Spud” in Trainspotting), and Ernie Reyes Jr. also unabashedly display their unique talents. As characters, they lend support by remaining stringent in their respective duties, yet their tenacity and sincerity create truly intense, likeable PEOPLE.
Christopher Walken creates a thick palette combining travesty and tragedy that is so believable that you’re unsure whether his role depicts cruel slave-lord or victim. Political statements are enforced by visuals, yet his speeches leave you pondering his integrity. It seems his character really believes he has been betrayed, been abused by mutiny. Could the extra 35 cents an hour wage he offers willing volunteers, seriously be enough incentive? Who exactly ARE the greedy ones here?
Technically, there are the ubiquitous MTV flash cuts (a few minutely borderline epileptic seizure alert), rotating slo-mo (ala Doritos commercials), and enough cheesecake shots to gain thirty pounds. Certain scenes may even curb a distaste for CG, as it is done strictly for comedic value. The soundtrack eclectically mixes Missy Elliot, Antonio Sabato Jr, and the late Johnny Cash. Animals kick ass too, putting humans in their place.
Ironically released at the onset of Autumn, this is the ultimate “Summer Film”. Oh, and did we mention it was a lot of FUN! It’s a lot of FUN, a lot of FUN!!