Movie Reviews: Walking Tall




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     MGM (1 hr. 26 min.)
     A retired soldier who returns to his hometown to discover his wealthy high school rival has turned the town's resources towards his own criminal gains.
     Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Kristen Wilson, Neal McDonough, Ashley Scott, Johnny Knoxville
Bottom Line:

Samantha Ofole

Dewayne "The Rock" Johnson is superb in this lighter version of the original 70’s flick of one man’s stand against corruption in his rural Southern town.

The first big screen version in 1973 proved a huge success with movie goers spanning two sequels, plus a short lived TV series and this modern day adaptation sees Rock in his finest form taking on the challenge with an added twist. Whereas Sheriff Buford Pusser was a real Tennessee county lawman, Rock is Chris Vaughn fighting crime and corruption in his northwest home town (Washington) complete with his trademark 2-by-4 wooden stick.

Apart from those minor changes the movie remains pretty close to the same formula, just with the contemporary slice. Vaughn returns home after eight years in the U.S. Special Forces hoping to find work at the local lumber mill. Once the town’s largest work resource, the mill has been closed for three years and in its place is a new crime ridden Casino — the Wild Cherry run by childhood buddy Jay Hamilton (Neal NcDonough). Vaughn’s father has been laid off from the mill and even his former girlfriend Deni is a stripper at the casino. The town is now overrun with crime, drugs, and violence. After an incident leaves him terribly beaten and left for dead Vaughn decides to run for sheriff and ‘clean up the town’. "The movie appealed to me because I was a huge fan of the original film." Claims Rock. "It was the right time for this movie to be made and it was the perfect time for me to take part in it."

Directed by Kevin Bray (All About The Benjamin’s) whose music video background is evident in several scenes, "Walking Tall" moves at a fairly rapid pace. Dotted with different genres, comedy, drama and action it does reasonably well in its quest to entertain. The action scenes are strategic and well played out and although it does very little to grip your attention fans of The Rock will certainly be in for a pleasant treat for his growth as an actor is very impressive. Rock oozes charisma onscreen and is the perfect match for the role proving he can deliver both humor and dramatic dialogue and still maintain that immense physicality and power.



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