The Rundown (2003)

Movie Title: The Rundown

Year Released: 2003

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1h 44min

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Thriller

Director: Peter Berg

Writer: R.J. Stewart and James Vanderbilt

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ewen Bremner, Jon Gries, William Lucking, Ernie Reyes Jr., Stuart F. Wilson, Dennis Keiffer, Garrett Warren, Todd Stashwick, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sven-Ole Thorsen

Review: When a bounty hunter (Dwayne Johnson) ventures out into the jungle for one last job, he encounters much more than he bargained for... like a rebellious treasure seeker (Seann William Scott), a tough bartender (Rosario Dawson), rough rebels, treacherous traps, bawdy baboons, and a vile villain (Christopher Walken) that's as comedic as he is cold-blooded. Head into the Amazon for non-stop action and adventure when you're hired for The Rundown.

Remember when movies were fun? So many action movies these days are dark, brooding, and joyless. The Rundown hearkens back to a time when heroes were tough and layered, villains were venomous, yet interesting, and the action was fast, furious, and really packed a punch! I really enjoyed this movie! I've seen it a few times and it gets better with every watch!

This was one of Dwayne Johnson's first starring roles in a major movie and you can totally tell that he's got it! A star is born here. He's the new action hero for a whole generation of film-goers. There's even a quick cameo from Arnold Schwarzenegger with a passing of the torch to Johnson. It's very classy, admirable, and kind of bittersweet. And, The Rock, as he's billed back in 2003, doesn't disappoint!

The action is lightning fast, a little over-stylized, and as bone-crunchingly hard-hitting as fans want it to be. A few times I even moaned and groaned after a punch or kick. It's rough and tough and takes no prisoners. Especially when Beck (Johnson) and Travis (Seann William Scott) are at the mercy of a band of rebels they encounter in the jungle. I know I was limping about watching it - OUCH!

The plot is nothing new, but it has fun with the tropes. The Rundown puts a stylish new look and feel to this type of action movie. Director Peter Berg really adds energy and enjoyment to the characters, the fight scenes, and the comedy, too! Speaking of comedy... I'm a sucker for Seann William Scott. He's a funny dude! He has a few goofy monologues, but I can see some getting annoyed by his character. The really genius bit of casting both for the funny and as the foil is Christopher Walken. He's the perfect amount of Walken - menacing and amusing. He might be my favorite part of the movie!

So if you're looking for an entertaining action flick that busts your gut for the punches as well as the punchlines then get ready for The Rundown.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Dwayne Johnson's body double was his cousin Tanoai Reed. He broke his ankle in the scene where Beck and Travis are tumbling down a hillside with the Jeep. He won the award for Best Overall Stunt by a Man at the 2004 Taurus World Stunt Awards.


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