Written by R.J. Stewart and James Vanderbilt
Running Time: 1:44
Seann William Scott
Ernie Reyes Jr.
The Rundown was a pretty standard action-adventure filled with good action sequences and a lot of humor. The film will long be remembered as the first of what is sure to be many starring roles for WWE superstar The Rock.
Beck is a man who can get things done. Whether it's getting a championship ring off the hand of a quarterback protected by his starting offensive line, or going to the Amazon to bring back a guy's son, Beck is your man. Heading to the Amazon to bring back Travis Walker is supposed to be Beck's last job, but is it really? While in the Amazon he runs into Hatcher, a man who basically uses the local population as his slaves. Leading the resistance movement is comely bartender Mariana. Travis is in the Amazon to try and find a gold cat (the Gato); his reason for getting it is in dispute: is it for the money and fame or is it for a museum so the world can enjoy it? He obviously doesn't want to be taken back to Los Angeles by Beck, but in the end they realize that the one man they dislike in common is Hatcher and along with Mariana they try to get rid of Hatcher so the people there can live a free life.
The Rundown doesn't get any points for originality, that's for sure. I can't remember the last movie where Beck's type of character wasn't on his 'last job'. "Do this last job for me, (fill in character name here), and I swear, we're even and you can go on your way." The thing that bothered me was it was never explained why Beck was working for Mr. Walker. There were hints that it wasn't because he really wanted to, but we never find out why. There was also Beck's thing about not using guns. A lot of movies will make that a moral decision, but here there was something that happened in his past that they alluded to, but again, it was never explained. Then there was the old story of the hunter finding his prey, then becoming friends with him and fighting another bad guy. At least here Beck did his job but the ending was pretty predictable, even if done humorously. Personally, I was never a big fan of movies that took place in jungles; no real reason, they just never appealed to me. Had this movie taken place in Los Angeles or some foreign city, I would have been happier, but that's neither here nor there. The other thing that bothered me, was the name of the item they were going after. The Gato. Some kind of gold cat thing. Everytime it was mentioned, it was supposed to be awe inspiring but it just sounded funny. There is nothing awe inspiring about something called The Gato. I wish the writer/director/producer/someone had actually listened to that on screen and said, you know, this sounds too funny. Let's come up with a different name for this so people aren't laughing when someone says the name. Such a small thing, but it kept rolling around in my head everytime someone said, The Gato.
There is a passing of the torch early on in the movie, a surprise I won't spoil here, but one that will definitely get a rise from the crowd. The Rock is being touted as the next big action star as aging heroes such as Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Willis and the rest of the crowd start to fade (or in some cases faded long ago). At the moment Rocky doesn't have the acting chops of a Willis, but he does do the action stuff well. Being a wrestler allows him to throw realistic punches and kicks and also allows him to react to the same better than most. And throwing in a couple of wrestling moves into a fight is always a crowd pleaser; who doesn't like seeing Rocky give someone the Rock Bottom in the middle of a bar? Will he have a long career and be the next big thing? Only time will tell, but so far his career path has been pretty smart. Take a cameo role in a big sequel, turn that into a spin-off film where fans are familiar with the setting and the character, then move onto a good old-fashioned action film. Next he needs to do a slightly bigger film; bigger budget, bigger co-stars, filled with more action and less comedy. Then finally come out with the iconic role; The Terminator, Rocky, John McClane... All of those movies were original in their own right and the actors and characters become movie heroes for all time. Once The Rock makes one of those films, he'll be set.
The co-stars in The Rundown were pretty entertaining in their own right. Seann William Scott, still trying to break away from the Stifler character, does much better here than he did in Bulletproof Monk. Scott doesn't have the personality to be the strong man in an action film. In Monk his character was supposed to be the tough guy, and it didn't play right. In The Rundown he was the sidekick, the comedic relief, and that's the right kind of role for him. Christopher Walken got laughs just by opening his mouth. He has easily the most distinct voice and mannerisms in movies today and has almost become a parody of himself such that whenever he speaks, people immediately start laughing, whether or not the scene is supposed to be funny. When he's trying to be serious and people start laughing, it can get annoying, but the times he's supposed to be funny, it works really well.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I enjoyed The Rundown. I am a big fan of The Rock so chances are I'd have liked the film regardless of how it turned out, but it was a fun, action-adventure that had some really good fight scenes and a lot of humor. If you try not to think too much about the background/history of the characters, you'll have a good time. But if you're like me and you wonder why they bother mentioning certain things if they're not going to explain them, the story might bother you a little.
The Scorpion King
American Pie 2
Catch Me If You Can
WWE - The Videos,
Vol. 1 - Ramped Up
© 2003 Wolfpack Productions