Saw a sneak preview of Walking Tall here in Nashville tonight. Large crowd, but not sold out. I haven't seen the first one so I can't compare them. It was decent. Right below The Rundown and above The Scorpion King as far as Rock movies go. The action, I thought, was really good. It isn't like Rundown, with the almost comical violence. Unlike Rundown, getting the hell beat out of you hurts in this movie.
The Rock was pretty good. He didn't seem like the Rock, which is good I suppose. Very subdued with the acting, nothing over the top, just a few one-liners. Just a guy kicking ass with a piece of wood. Knoxville, on the other hand, kinda wasn't that great. He had nowhere near the chemistry with Rock, that Sean William Scott had. Neal McDougal was good, the rest of the cast average to bad.
The story is decent. I don't know the actual events it was based on, but get the feeling it was pretty loose, since it didn't take place in Tennessee, and it was Chris Vaugn instead of Buford Pusser, or whatever. Pretty cliched stuff though. It was pretty short, only about 80 minutes or so. Yet it still seemed like it took awhile to get to the action. And there seem to be some time frame issues, as it is election month for the sheriff at the start, Rock gets his ass kicked, goes to the hospital for awhile, recovers, kicks some ass, goes to jail, is found not guily and then wins the election. I may be the only one who notices something like that though.
So o.k. stuff overall. Nothing spectacular, but good enough to keep Rock on the map and get more scripts. Don't have much interest in Hellboy, and haven't payed much attention to the hype, so I don't know how the weekend will go at the box office. I'd guess Walking Tall pulls in around $11 to $17 million and finishes somewhere between $35 to $50 domestic. I'd like to see it do better for Rock, but I don't think even his fans (like me) will see it twice. I doubt the budget was as high for this one as Rundown though, so it should pull a nice chuck of change in. Go see it.
Edit: Just wanted to add this to a discussion from a couple of weeks ago about Rundown. The overseas box office is up to 25 million with this weekend being the opening in the UK. It opens in late May in Japan. So the total take so far is $72 million. After the other two markets it should easily cover the $85 million budget and make dvd and video revenues gravy. So that is good news for Rock's movie career.
Now before you think i am being biased here, let me explain...
I totally went into this film thinking it would SUCK SOOO BAD...most "wrestler-as-lead-actor" movies suck. well not most, all of them. Lets see, we have No Holds Barred, Mr. Nanny, GRUNT! (the wrestling movie), The Jesse Ventura Story and Santa with Muscles...point proven..
I have to give him credit. The Rock is good. Really good. Its not that hes an "Actor", but as an action star, hes honestly really good. Unlike Arnold, you can understand him when he talks. Unlike Vin Diesel you can understnad him when he talks. Unlike Jean Claude Van Damme he can talk. Unlike Sly Stallone you can understand him when he talks. Unlike Steven Se....you get my point.
He is also charismatic and knows when to be "tough" and when to be "funny".
As far as action heros go, i can honestly say the Rock is probably the best of them all. Hes got the look and the pressence to do what he did in Walking Tall. Take a bad movie and make it not as bad.
The movie was watchable. Entertaining. Obviously not an oscar winner by any means, but I had a good time with it.
Would I have seen it if The Rock wasn't in it? Not a chance.
But, I did see it.
The movie did not dissapoint, if anything it impressed.
Johnny Knoxville co-starred in this one and did a great job as well.