|In continuation of the policy that All The Rock Movies Must Be Seen Until He Makes A Bad One, we watched Walking Tall. Not as fun as The Rundown or Scorpion King, but still nicely done for its genre, so the policy remains intact. Especially since the next movie Mr Rock stars in will be Spy Hunter, based on the computer game. "An ex-fighter pilot rids the world of spies, assassins, and other vermin with his souped-up Interceptor car"!|
A striking thing about this movie (Walking Tall, not Spy Hunter) is that it shows Mr Rock to be actually a competent actor, even though the character is a classic action-movie expressionless creature. Where Schwarzenegger would easily do expressionless, as he does, and Stallone would ham up every expression like an out-of-control Jim Carrey with a melting face, The Rock simply wraps the character in a panoply of subtle expressiveness even while portraying expressionlessness. I suspect he did this in previous movies too and I just didn't notice. You just wouldn't expect it from someone who looks so muscle-focussed.
I didn't realise until the credits that the movie was based on a true story, which goes a way to explaining why the plot is a bit bland and spaghetti-western flavoured. I thought it was just a modernised western, in fact - I'm pretty sure the plot must have appeared in at least one John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movie. Man returns to his home town, the main workplace is out of business, there's a new casino which is a law unto itself and the sheriff is corrupt. Our Man shakes the town up, becomes the sheriff, and cleans out the baddies with the power of his six-shooter and magic sheriff badge of +6 indestructability. Oh no, spoilers! And you couldn't possibly have anticipated such an original plot. Also, because it's a modernisation, there's a child and some drug-pushing involved.
I don't really recommend this one unless you're adopting our Rock policy. The Rundown and Scorpion King, on the other hand, are well worth the watching if you fancy a nice mindless action or fantasy movie with comedy elements. And surely Spy Hunter will be the best movie ever. Be Cool and Instant Karma - two Rock-featuring movies due for release before Spy Hunter - are excluded from the policy, as they merely feature The Rock, not star him. Though Instant Karma is about a safecracker who turns into animals or something, which sounds delightfully Sunday-afternoon-Disney.