Speak softly and carry a big stick. That is the philosophy that President Roosevelt lived by and it is also the philosophy that The Rock follows in the new movie, “Walking Tall.””Walking Tall” is inspired by the true story of Buford Pusser, which also spawned movies and a short-lived TV series in the 70s. In the new version, the main character is Chris Vaughn (The Rock) and he is returning from the military to his hometown.
Upon his return, he sees that the town has become overrun with drugs and crime.
After his nephew almost dies of a drug overdose and sees the corruption he becomes the sheriff and decides to make a difference by shutting down the casino that is causing a lot of the problems.
The film, which runs approximately 85 minutes, has a basic and simple plot to follow. However, by the end of the film, it seems like an afterschool special about how bad drugs are supped up to include the action. Most people wouldnt be surprised if at the end The Rock would have posed with a group of children explaining the dangers to them.
Besides acting as anti-drug propaganda, the film doesn’t seem to be able to find it’s footing as to whether it wants to be a budddy cop film or if it wants to play up The Rock as the world’s newest action star.
The film’s strongest asset are the performances it offers. The Rock shows a softer side in this film from what his wrestling fans are used to seeing him do. However, that doesn’t mean that he is soft all over. There are plenty of buttkickings in the film to be given out. The supporting cast included “Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville, Ashley Scott and Neal McDonough. Each of the supporting characters does as well as they can, given that they are all pretty much working within very clichd and stereotypical characters. Knoxville, as the funny sidekick, demonstrates a new facet to his well known personality. On the other hand, McDonough goes from being just an unlikeable character in past roles to a full out villian. Scott, a relatively newcomer with her biggest role to date includng her role on the failed TV show “Birds of Prey,” shows promise as the next big thing.
However, unlike most of the action movies that we see. “Walking Tall” is a toned down action movie, but that doesn’t mean that audiences are going to be leaving the theater craving more action. With it being toned down, there is less gun play within the course of the film. It would be interesting to see if this is the direction that action films will start to take. It would be good if films followed in the footsteps made by “Walking Tall” so that the writers find a better way to make plot point other than just using a gun.
“Walking Tall” is a fun movie to go to and see The Rock do what he does best.