The Plot – Chris Vaughn has come home after eight years in the Special Forces. Only trouble is it’s not the home he remembers. The once thriving lumber community is now overshadowed by a casino which provides the small town residents their only source of income. Prosperity has taken a back seat to shady drug dealings and hedonism. Taking back the town will require more than just standing up to crooked casino owners it will also mean fighting a corrupt town sheriff.
The Review – Walking Tall is a remake of the classic 1973 flick which originally starred Joe Don Baker. The film was inspired by the true story of Buford Pusser a wrestler turned town hero who fought corruption with his infamous four foot long 2×4. I say “classic” simply because I can remember watching this movie along side other titles such as Billy Jack and the Death Wish series. But then I grew up on a solid diet of action films including any martial arts flick and stories with a vigilante inspired theme.
The current film differs from the original in more than just the title character’s name change. Can you imagine The Rock portraying somebody called Buford? The original movie was fairly graphic by today’s standards and the updated version while violent does it’s best to tone down any scenes by simply taking them off camera. (WWE executives are smart enough not to alienate their core audience – young wrestling fans)
The film moves along at a quick pace, by that I mean I blinked and it was over. Approximately an hour & fifteen minutes, the movie sometimes felt like a summary tale than an actual story. I thought The Rock did well (thank God I didn’t have to witness “the eyebrow”) and is slowly cementing his title as the next big action hero.
The surprise of the film was Johnny Knoxville. As the best buddy/comedic sidekick, he stole almost every scene he was in. I’ll admit I was surprised to discover he has talent that goes beyond getting kicked in the nuts on camera.
Overall I thought the film delivered. There are certainly plot points or scenes that could have been extended to give the film more depth, but a movie like this is simply meant to be an adrenaline rush.
Grade: A- (Johnny Knoxville gives this film a boost)