Monday, October 03, 2005

Walking Tall: The Rock Gets Rustic On Their A$$

Hey everyone, sorry for the long hiatus. School started last month and I've been wiped. But I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and checked this little gem out of my local library this weekend. And what viewing pleasure it was - off and on.

As everyone knows Walking Tall is a remake of another Walking Tall movie. Which I thankfully didn't see. Without doing any spoilers here is how the movie goes: You kick my butt, then I kick your butt, then you kick my butt, then I open up a can of whoop-a$$ on you, and the movie is over. I think I got the number of butt-kickin's right.

This is a red neck movie with the oddest twist. Right in the beginning! The lead is The Rock, who is so handsome and charming with his 100-watt smile it's ridiculous. His hometown is up high (seemingly so) in the mountains where, presumably, from the red-necky accents and such, only white people live. Yet how to explain his lovely tan complexion? His mom is white and his dad black. Once we all get over our shock the movie proceeds as expected.

The other stretch of the imagination is that in this town, the mill has closed down. That's not so hard to believe it's just that the people yearn for the mill as part of "the good old days" when hard working, blue collar folks all made an honest living cutting trees down. (I'm not pulling the environmental card, folks, you can't make me do it)! Anyway, now that the mill is closed the town has gone to pot turning the kids into junkies, the women into sluts and the men into emasculated gamblers. A sad state of affairs caused by the casino's owners, the bad guys. Thank goodness we have The Rock. Oh, and Johnny Knoxville as his sidekick.

I keep trying to like Johnny in his movie roles (Men In Black II) and this one too but it's not working. I can't put my finger on it exactly it's just that I liked him best when he was entertaining me on Jackass, with buds Steve-O and Wee Man. Ah well.

I liked the guy who played The Rock's dad, Khleo Thomas, he was pretty righteous. (Cool name, too). I could have used a little more time with his character, however. There were allusions to the fact that he "put his guns down a long time ago" but storyline wasn't further developed. The other mystery was how The Rock returned to town. He hasn't been home in eight years, but is famous to the townspeople (the sheriff in particular). But The Rock doesn't know anything that's been going on and no one knows he's coming home. Why is that? Over Chinese food that night mom apologizes, "if I had known you were coming..." Later on they hinted about a disagreement with dad over his choice of career but after all his undisclosed heroic deeds I would have thought they would have patched things up sooner. After all, he shows up and moves right back into his old bedroom, ousting his nephew. Why can't he get his own place? Is he broke?

Anyway, all these irritants are not the point of the movie. It's the guns, the soft-core porn in the casino, and the fancy pickups with big tires. I really wanted to think this was a cool movie but it just didn't do enough for me. The Rock is pretty to look at, and he's so damn nice. While I never made it through Scorpion King, I hope he keeps trying. I think he just might.

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