Second Chance Theater: The Rundown
Some movies deserve a second chance.
The Rundown is a fantastic action movie, filled with fun characters, spectacular set pieces, and rife with sequel possibilities.
It also thudded at the box office.
Most action stars, kind of suck. Does anyone fear getting beat up by Orlando Bloom or Paul Walker? How about Hayden Christiensen? Channing Tatum?
They’re good looking guys, and they look like they work out (well, maybe not Bloom), and chances are that those 2 hour sessions with their 500 dollar an hour trainers would put them in a position to beat the hell out of me, but I don’t care. They’re not scary and they’re not imposing.
But the Rock? The Rock is a big dude. He’s over 6 feet tall, with actual muscle mass. He doesn’t bulk up for a role and let it go *cough* Jake Gyllenhaal *cough* Tobey Maguire *cough* he actually looks like he does in the movies, but all the time.
The failures of this movie, which was good, and the adaptation of Doom, which was excrement, are basically the reason the Rock does shit like the Game Plan and the Tooth Fairy. The man’s gotta eat. And after working at a place frequented by body builders, I can attest that the man probably eats a fucking lot.
Which is a shame because he has more charisma than most professional leading men, let alone an ex-athlete/wrestler trying to act, and is put in a very tight, well-structured movie.
Let’s look at how we meet our hero, Beck. He’s in his truck, listening to Emeril Lagasse talk about mushrooms. Our man is deep. When he gets into the club he’s been staking out for hours, he gets serious. Our man is professional. He walks up to his target, lays out all his cards, and lets the man know he can help him. Our man is fair. He suffers abuse and humiliation at the hands of said target, but walks away. Our man is even-tempered. He asks his employer for permission to not beat the ever-living fuck out of the target. Our man is in debt. He is denied. Beck goes back out and explains that he will be getting what he wants, if it happens violently, it’s not his fault. Our man is fearless.
The target does not back down. Then Beck beats the ever-loving fuck out of everyone.
We are then treated to a fight scene where we watch Beck dispatch everyone quickly and efficiently, even using music itself to bludgeon his opponents. Folks, when you’ve seen as many action movies as I have, you’re going to be privy to a lot of scenes where someone get hits with a turn table, and I’m telling you, the best one is in the Rundown.
Seriously, I think that guy’s dead, and then he uses it as some kind of deadly frisbee, AKA a Doombee, to stop a fleeing target.
The point is, all that happened in about five minutes, character foundation, motivation, and a tidy action sequence that sets the pace for the rest of the movie.
What follows is an adventure to an exotic locale, lots of action, and an inspired casting choice in selecting Christopher Walken to play an insane dictator-esque head of a gold mining project.
Yes, the Rock goes to South America to fight treasure seeking Christopher Walken wearing a stylish big daddy hat.
So the Rock goes on his merry adventure through a series of action sequences, each one with it’s own vibe, pacing, and hook, so every fight scene stands out on it’s own, and we learn that Beck doesn’t use guns. Which means that if he uses guns, it’s probably fantastic.
Later, he uses guns and it’s FANTASTIC.
Double shotguns, guys. Double. Shot. Guns. Really the only problem with the double shotguns is how he manages to cock them is shown in inverse cool order. The first time he does it, he swings them under his armpits to do it. The in the crook of his elbow, then he uses like a crate or something. It should go the other way, crate first and end with armpit as he becomes more and more comfortable with the double shotguns.
Jesus Christ, I love typing ‘double shotguns.’
The double shotguns come into play during the final action sequence, where our hero fights an entire town filled with bad guys. Even the patron saint of action movie (and my blog. and my life), Chow Yun-Fat, has only ever fought an entire warehouse and an entire hospital filled with bad guys, but a whole town?
Also, he fights two guys wielding double whips, has an iconic no-look walk-away from an explosion, and clothes-lines a building causing it to collapse.
Aside from neat characters, good dialogue, and excellent pacing, the movie does something amazing. Something incredible. Something so unbelievable that it’s like seeing a unicorn make love to Nessie.
They pull the camera back. Yes, they actually let you see what’s going on in every shoot-out and fight scene. It’s amazing. Not only are they well done, but you can follow along at home.
This movie deserves your money and eyeballs for no other reason than that it wasn’t shot like every other movie out there.
For fuck’s sake, they stole everything from the Matrix except the cinematography.
Now, I’m upset.
And now I’m less upset.
Posted on August 2, 2010, in Matt Loman, Movies, Pop Culture and tagged better than it has any right to be, Christopher Walken, Matt Loman, movies, second chance, second chance theater, the Rock, the Rundown, wrestlers. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.