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"Walking Tall" starring the Rock is another addition to a string of pointless remakes. Has Hollywood had such a problem with writers block that the only option is to redo every single movie? At this rate next year Iíll be reviewing UHF starring Jim Carrey. Now donít get me wrong. I like remakes if they are good movies, but for every Oceanís Eleven you get ten Psychos starring Vince Vaughn. And when it comes to horribly re-envisioning a classic, all I have to say is ďEase on down the road.Ē Pardon the rant about remakes. Iím bitter. Though this is a remake, I will not compare. I will give this version a fresh start.
Walking Tall is based on the true story of a man named Buford Puser. Puser was man who waged a one man war against corruption in his home town. This time the characterís name is Chris Vaughn. (Named changed, according to the Rock, due to the obvious difference in skin color between the two.) Chris is a special-forces soldier returning to his home town after eight years. Right at the start he sees that his town has changed. He sees a mother buy drugs, while her baby sits in a stroller. With a frown on the Rockís face you see that he disagrees. He returns to his home where he is welcomed by his sister (Kristen Wilson), who is a cop, his mother (Barbara Tarbuck), and father (John Beasley). His sister also has a son (Khleo Thomas). Do you need to really know about his family? No. I forgot that they were even in the movie after about 30 minutes in to it.
The next day Chrisí friend Ray (Played by the only person with any life in this movie; Johnny Knoxville) stops by one day to say Hi, and get Chris to play touch football. (After eight years itís nice to see friends able to just pick up where they left off. Itís sad, however, to see that after eight years his friends are doing the exact same thing on a Saturday.) Of course at the field Chris and Rayís team is against the token rich bad guy, Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough). The field is named after him, (which means he must be rich) and he has opened a casino in town (which in movie terms means he owns the town).
While watching the football game (which seems to last ten minutes) you are shown Jay and his henchmen are bad by how rough they play touch football. (On a side note his cronies are identical to the ones in Roadhouse. Itís good to see that are still getting work.) After the game Jay invites Chris, Ray and his other non-descript friends to come to the casino, and drinks are on the house. They accept. While having a good time, one of his friends, (You never learn their names. Iíll call him Sam.), buys Chris a pole dance. Enter Danny (Ashley Scott). Supposedly Chris and Danny were a couple eight years ago. (This town must be corrupt if a woman that he dated has become a stripper, or it could be gas prices drove her to it. Iíve thought about it once or twice.) When Danny recognizes Chris the dance ends. While leaving his dance his eyes become open to all the shady practices going on around him (cocaine, cocaine and more cocaine). What takes him over the edge, however, is seeing his friend (Iíll call this one Ralph Mouth) shooting craps, and the dealer switches the dice. This leads to a one man fight sequence between Chris Vaughn and many security guards. After a massive handing out of roody-poo-candy-asswhoopinsí (Can you smell what the Rock is cookin?) Chris is overtaken by a gun handle to the face. Like all Casinos, they soon beat him and leave him for dead. Chris finds that the police will not help him press charges and that every one seems to be working for Jay. Chris takes it like a man and stays to himself until Pete almost ODs on crystal-meth. (Where did the kids get the drugs? You guessed it, the casino. They seem to be real entrepreneurs) Chris has had enough. He takes his shotgun and heads over to the casino. When he gets there he decides that it would not be a Walking Tall movie without a 4x4, so he leaves the shotgun in the truck and grabs the piece of wood. After another helping of one man justice, he is arrested and charged. In court he tells the jury that if he is acquitted of all charges, than he will run for sheriff and turn the town around. Of course they let him go, (proving once again how horrible our judicial system is. *Cough* OJ.) and he becomes sheriff. Will one man be able to turn this town around? Will he come out on top? Who cares?
The Rock is his usual self. The Rock plays a role where he needs to carry his weight and he does so by the ton. I believe that he is an action diamond in the rough, waiting for the right script. I loved him in Scorpion King and The Rundown, but an actor is only as a good as the lines heís given. The other redeeming quality is Johnny Knoxville. Now, if someone told me that the star of Jackass would be in a movie. I would have laughed, and continued lighting the firecracker that was dangling off my crotch. (This will make great TV) He was good in Big Trouble and again a breath of fresh air in this. Of course this movie would not be a Rock movie without fighting, and it is here. The fighting was fast paced, and well edited. The problem is this movie is easily forgettable. This movie is as deep, and well written as J Losí nuptials. A romance is attempted between Danny and Chris, but fails horribly. The sexual tension between these two was in comparison to Screech and any woman at Bayside High. The movie seemed to be made for people that had seen the original. The director and writers felt that they did not need to explain too much, because we should know the relationship between these two. Well, I didnít.
This movie is not horrible by any means, but it just left me feeling empty. The characters were not developed at all, and frankly I did not even care about any of them other than Chris and Ray. As the ending credits rolled I shrugged my shoulders, looked at the clock, and turned the TV to a more developed, well written and though provoking programÖ. The Simple Life 2.
Biggest reason to watch: The Rock
Worst aspect of the movie: Everything else
Better than: Deathwish 4
But not as good as: Walking Tall (the original)
2 trashcans (out of 5)
Added: Monday, August 16, 2004
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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