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The time has come to admit that the Rock is just plain cool (***)
Ronin478 April 2004
I hate wrestling, but when I saw "The Rundown" last year I had to admit, The Rock is one cool guy, and a perfect action star. He's big and tough, but most importantly he's charismatic and has a sense of humor and a certain softness that actually makes him seem somewhat vulnerable. This is what sets him apart from someone like Vin Diesel, who was all set to be the next big action star but never was because he has no personality or sense of humor.

"Walking Tall" is a remake of a 1973 based-on-fact film about a man who fights back against corruption in his town by becoming sheriff and waging war on the bad guys. I haven't seen the original, but I'm willing to bet it's closer to the truth than the 2004 "Walking Tall", which is packed with more machine guns, axes, exploding trucks, and gunfighting strippers than anything that's "based on fact" could possibly be.

Here, Vaughn returns home after years of being away to find his hometown in shambles and dependent on a corrupt casino run by drug-dealing, knife-wielding thugs. After he receives a brutal beating and his nephew (Khleo Thomas, from "Holes") nearly overdoses on crystal meth bought there, the war is on. My inner 12 year-old says "Woohoo!".

Yes, this film is ridiculously over the top. It's also completely predictable. But it's FUN. A lot of fun, in fact. It's extremely fast paced, well-acted, the action scenes are excellent, and at just under 80 minutes, it's exceptionally lean too. Not one unnecessary or drawn-out scene.

"Walking Tall" doesn't aim to be anything except old-fashioned popcorn entertainment, and it succeeds, yet it has been made with surprising artistry as well. The cinematography is very good, and there are some interesting things done with sound and unexpected fade-outs. Also, Vaughn is an interestingly complex hero (complex as far as these movie go, anyway). At one point, when he clearly wants to bring a loaded shotgun into a fight with him, he hesitates, and brings a less-deadly 2x4 instead. It's a neat moment.

So it's not going to be winning any awards any time soon. But I had a really good time, plain and simple, and the audience I saw it with did too.
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The Rock is a Star
jon.h.ochiai10 April 2004
The Rock is the next great action hero. He has all the requisites. He is handsome, an amazing athlete with an awesome physique, charismatic, intelligent, and funny. His star power carries Kevin Bray's "Walking Tall".

The Rock is great in an entertaining movie. "Walking Tall" though great fun to watch, and capably produced and directed also punctuates that The Rock needs to work on more edgy and quality projects. He is definitely a movie star, who can become a solid actor.

"Walking Tall" has to overcome a very convoluted writing credit. This is not a retelling of the Bufford Pussor story, although its original screen writer, Mort Bristein, is acknowledged. This "Walking Tall" by David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien, and Brian Koppelman tells the story of returning Special Forces war hero Chris Vaughn (The Rock), who comes home to a small town outside Seattle. The town mill has been closed down, and his old high school bud, Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough), owns the new town casino and pretty much owns the local police too. Jay is not the man he remembered from his youth. Chris is forced to raise his hand reluctantly against Hamilton's men. They leave him for dead, and fortunately Chris survives. So Chris is out to right an injustice, and exact revenge with extreme prejudice. This "Walking Tall" resembles "First Blood" particularly in it's local and plot setting.

Props to Director Kevin Bray for delivering on the story line as Chris exacts his revenge. Bray has a clean and lean style. The action sequences are crisp and dramatic. The Rock truly excels in the fight sequences. For one thing he is an big strong guy, and when he is laying "the smack down" on the villains it is believable and thoroughly enjoyable. The bad guys truly get what they deserve.

The supporting cast is solid. Ashley Scott (almost unrecognizable from the short-lived "Birds of Prey") is good as the stripper with a big heart who is Chris's love interest. Johnny Knoxville (of "Jackass") is funny and charming as Chris's bud and deputy Ray.

I completely enjoyed "Walking Tall". It is a brisk 75 minutes of cool action, and has the star power of The Rock. I look forward to seeing more movies starring The Rock.
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Surprisingly Entertaining Rock Flick ala Chuck Norris
dilbertsuperman7 January 2006
The Rock takes a page out of the Chuck Norris bible in his rendition of a special forces soldier returning to his home town. He quickly learns things in his hometown are not as he had left them and not for the better. Soon, things come to a head and he has to make a choice as to whether he is going to put up with it, or Walk Tall.

As The Rock himself mentioned- the original Sheriff Buford was a white man in his 40's so remember this is an adaptation of a 1970's movie script that was originally "based" on a true story, so we are a pretty long ways out from accurately representing the original events- this is only representing the SPIRIT of the original true story.

Fabulous fight scenes, a tense script and some funny moments all are reminiscent of the numerous Chuck Norris movies that portrayed a quiet guy that doesn't take any bull-crap from nobody man!

While the script made perfect sense in an earlier time - the Viet Nam era, it doesn't quite fly 100% in this day and age. So suspend a little belief.You may findyourself scratching your head as to how that could happen in this day and age.. well.. it could back then - even though it didn't really haha. However, no mention is made of the actual time period they are trying to represent- yet they mention current items like home depot and cops TV show. The moonshine whiskey sheriff buford fought is updated in this script to be crystal meth/ice.

The acting is surprisingly good for the Rock and he is looking manly in this movie instead of the sculpted eyebrow weirdo looks he has achieved in the past. Instead of looking like a dancer in a gay club like he did in Scorpion King, he looks the rough and tumble part for this role.

His attachment to his family is acted in a clumsy and weak manner but that isn't really important to the script- even if he only sort of likes his family he would still protect them with his life so it still works for the momentum of the movie.

Johnny Knoxville is mainly weak but has some great shining moments where they allow him to be Johnny Knoxville instead of the stupid 1-d concept of his character that seems to be forced on him through the other parts of the flick. At times he is reminiscent of Barney Fife to Rock's Andy. :-)

If you want to READ about the real man that INSPIRED this really great story- http://www.sheriffbufordpusser.com/history1.htm (the welcome page has a picture of him)
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An enjoyable action film, but it felt a bit thin
SurlyBastard27 March 2004
Walking Tall is The Rock's fourth foray into major motion pictures, and different turn then his previous three trips to the box office. What separates 'Walking Tall' from his other films to date is The Rock is left alone as the sole 'draw' of this film, without a major franchise (The Mummy Returns, Scorpion King) or other star power (The Rundown with Sean William Scott and Christopher Walken) to draw an audience. Is it a success?

Yes and no.

Overall, it's an enjoyable action film with good a plot, decent characters and acting, and some hard-hitting action sequences. It centres on Chris Vaughn (The Rock), returning home from the Army after many years of service, only to realize it isn't the place he left all those years ago. A former friend and casino owner Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough) controls much of the town through gambling, prostitution, and drugs. After Vaughn is attacked in the Casino, and his nephew overdoses on drugs, he teams with his best friend Ray (Johnny Knoxville), becomes the town's Sheriff, and goes about trying to set things right.

It is The Rock's movie first and foremost, and his natural charisma and personality are what carries the movie at its core. The Rock plays Chris Vaughn and delivers as well as can be expected, after four films he is definitely looking more in his element. The Rock is supported wonderfully by the surprising Johnny Knoxville (of Jackass fame) who turns in a wonderfully solid and funny performance as Ray, Vaughn's best friend and later deputy. Neal McDonough plays the main villain of the picture, and although he doesn't have much to work with outside of being just "the bad guy", he handles it well, and is matched well against The Rock.

This movie is decidedly 'heavier' then Rock's previous outings, dealing with more significant topics like prostitution and drugs, which gives it a more serious edge. It certainly doesn't feel like a 'fun' film, like all of The Rock's other movies to date.

The action scenes are solid, and are a firm connection to the plot. Unlike Rock's previous films, the fight scenes are more traditional 'realistic' looking fights. That being said, for action junkies there's definitely something here for you, with The Rock getting into it with his hands, and guns, there's definitely something for everyone.

That said, I felt Walking Tall was a little bit thin. First and foremost, it ran at a meagre 85 minutes, which was simply not enough time for a movie like this. Although all the necessary plot points were properly established, I felt the movie needed another 20 minutes or so to `breath'. Everything progresses logically, just much too quickly to build the level of suspense and anticipation I think the movie was capable of. As a result, leading up to the climax of the movie, it almost feels like a race to the finish. More character development and background was definitely warranted, as well as greater explanation on certain plot points.

I felt that this was a movie that a studio may have cut for time reasons or ratings (it also felt like it was being squeezed into PG-13), and if that were the case, I'd love to see the full version. I feel it would be a much more complete film, with a better build up, therefore making the payoff mean all that much more.

Overall, I enjoyed Walking Tall, and would recommend it to anyone despite its faults. The Rock is being championed as the next big action star, and I have to agree, he has the charisma, looks and moves to make it far, with Walking Tall being a major 'step' in getting him there.
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So? It's short. I know that. :)
PatrynXX6 December 2004
The key note here is inspired by a true story. Not based. So who knows whats true and whats not. I doubt Meth was a big time operation in the early 70's or whenever this was based. But nevermind that, this was a fun movie. Yes it's rushed, yes it's 75 minutes long. Yes there is indeed 11 minutes worth of credits. O_O

But if you wanna see a good Dwayne Johnson movie, this is certainly better than the other movies he's done so far.

The acting isn't too bad and good IL Johnny Knoxville continue's to have a lot of fun. He's growing on me. the sheriff's girlfriend seems to be a dead ringer (at least for the movie) to Britney Spears. Although just like Spears, her acting abilities are much in doubt. Dwayne's a good actor. Hey he's a wrestler, and he's had a lot of practice in that area. Wrestling is all about acting. ;)


Quality: 5/10 Entertainment: 10/10 Replayable: 10/10
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Buford Pusser would roll over, if he saw this.
admiralron20017 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Looks like something that a wrestler would do.

They act like they are doing a tribute to Buford Pusser . . . they are NOT.

It would be better for them to just silently buy up all copies of this movie and act like it never happened.

Too bad . . . the original Walking Tall was a winner as was the person it was about, Buford Pusser, as was Joe Don Baker, the actor.

I guess that if you want to make a shoot 'em up, that is OK. Just don't pass it off as real.

I guess all wrestlers are actors . . . goes with the job.

All actors are not good, no matter how many people they kill on the screen.

I guess "The Rock" has fans that will support anything that he films. I am not one of them.
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Let Down
g-furr9 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
The first half was promising. They did a good job of building up the Rock as a man of integrity amidst a sea of moral sewage in his hometown. He has a likable family. He has good friends. It really made me lok forward to what I knew would happen-- he would be beaten senseless, exact a measure of painful revenge on his enemies, and go about cleaning up the place and setting things aright. My expectations were high.

But then he becomes sherriff. It must be something about the office because his moral compass turns out to be just as screwed up as everyone else's. He hires a felon as a deputy (against the law), sleeps with his girlfriend in the office (seems he didn't mind her being a stripper as long as she put on her show for him at the jail). He tramples people's rights, plants evidence on suspects, intimidates through physical violence, etc. Sure he was trying to clean the place up but I was hoping that, with an appropriate measure of butt-kicking when needed, he would overcome evil with good. But he only knew how to fight evil with more evil.

The whole back half seemed to be rushed and almost unplanned as events hurled toward the inevitable winner take all clash with the bad guy. The Rock put on a good performance as did most of the other actors but the script and directing were awful after the mid-point of the movie. I gave it a 3.
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Plays the revenge scenario right!!!
jtindahouse5 July 2005
What makes Walking Tall such a good movie, in my opinion, is that you really want The Rock to beat the bad guys. Obviously, in these type of movies the good guys always have to win, so it's really important that the director make sure the good guys come out looking much better than the bad guys so that when the good guys win, the audience is satisfied. This movie does that perfectly having The Rock have something extremely cowardly done to him near the beginning of the film. Johnny Knoxville adds a lot to this movie as well with some good humor. Overall it's just good entertainment the whole time.

So check this out some time because it's a prime example of how a slightly more adult feel-good movie should be done.
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More brain-dead than usual
Dr. Gore19 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers

If the Rock wants to be the next big action hero, he's going to have to learn to embrace the R rating. If any movie needed excessive violence to make up for its complete lack of plot, intelligence, etc., it was "Walking Tall". I am a big fan of the original Joe Don Baker movie and was interested in seeing the Rock take a big stick and bash a new generation of bad guy's heads open.

"Walking Tall" is a very efficient, no frills PG-13 action flick. The Rock comes back home only to find filth everywhere he looks. Seems the new casino in town is run by a bunch of lowlifes that need to get a big stick slammed upside their heads. The Rock is happy to oblige. Soon the bad guys and The Rock will do battle. You could write the rest of the movie yourself. Actually, don't bother. A movie this brain-dead just keeps lumbering along on its own.

As a brainless action flick, "Walking Tall" was OK. Fair. I wanted to see the Rock bash people's heads in and "Walking Tall" delivered. I can't fault the movie for that. However, The Rock version has nothing on the mighty Joe Don Baker version. Baker's version was about being a man and Walking Tall. Joe Don needed to prove he could be a real man and clean up the town. The Rock's version is about bashing skulls. Period. Dot. The end. The Rock was already a man the second he walked into town. He had nothing to prove. He just wanted to attack somebody. There was no need to call this one "Walking Tall". They could have easily have called it "Rock Smash!".
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Walking Tall A Decent Remake With Some Flaws
tburke8522 June 2009
Walking Tall is a decent remake with some flaws from director Ken Bray whose admirable in making this movie but a short running time, some over the top action, and the lack of a more central villain is what weighed it down. Walking Tall however isn't that bad and it's one of the better remakes out there. Dwayne Johnson is solid as the lead and proves to be a talented actor while bringing some of his wresting experience to the movie during the action/fight sequences. Johnson turns in a good performance of a man who returns home to find it overrun by crime and corruption, which drives him to become sheriff in order to put an end to it. The rest of the cast including Johnny Knoxville, Neal McDonough, and Ashley Scott are okay in their roles but (except for maybe Knoxville) they're not given much to do. The movie felt short and rushed with an 86 minute running time. Some of the fight sequences especially the one near the end between Johnson and McDonough go over the top. Johnson's performance however and the action sequences make this movie worth seeing at least once. Overall despite its flaws Walking Tall is decent remake one of the better ones with intense action, fist fights, some humor, and good performances by the cast.
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When a Man Makes the Difference
claudio_carvalho26 May 2007
After eight years serving the U.S. Army Special Forces, Sergeant Chris Vaughn (The Rock) returns to his hometown seeking for a job in the local mill. He is informed by Sheriff Stan Watkins (Michael Bowen) that the mill was closed six months ago and now the Wild Cherry Casino, owned by his former high school friend Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough), is the major source of jobs and income to the town. Chris goes home, and meets his best-friend Ray Templeton (Johnny Knoxville), who organized a football game with their friends. After the game, Jay invites Chris and his friends to spend the night in his casino on him, but when Chris finds that the casino stick-man is cheating with the dices, he fights against the security men and is almost killed by them. When his nephew Pete (Khleo Thomas) has an OD with amphetamines sold by the security men of the casino, Chris realizes that the town is dominated by the mobsters and the corrupt sheriff and with a huge piece of wood, he breaks the casino and the criminals. He is prosecuted and in the trial, he promises to the jury and to the population that if he is considered non-guilty, he would be candidate to the sheriff position and clean the town. Later, Sheriff Chris Vaughn has to fight against the organized crime to keep his promise.

"Walking Tall" is a non-stop action movie, with The Rock playing a character inspired on the legendary McNairy County Sheriff Bruford Hayser Pusser. I had never heard, read or seen anything about the life of this brave man, but there are lots of references about his heroic fight against crime and tragic fate of his family, inclusive a 1973 movie also called "Walking Tall" based on his biography that I believe has not been released in Brazil. I liked a lot this 2004 fictional film, with the charismatic The Rock excellent in the role of a honest man that makes the difference in a corrupt town. Johnny Knoxville is hilarious, as usual, and this movie is a great entertainment. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Com as Próprias Mãos" ("With the Own Hands")
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Walking?!?!? This needs to be on a gurney with drugs!
GeorgeSickler4 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The actors were fine, OK? But this movie is just a stupid mess of outrageous nonsense.

If you have nothing better to do, don't even consider watching this groan-er. You're better off watching paint dry instead.

Just a few examples (and these are spoilers): The family-owned mill, which was the major employer in town and the region, shuts down to build a cheating casino that also makes and sells drugs to kids.

Huh?!?!? They shut down an on-going for-profit mill that was the MAJOR source of income for the region, to build a casino -- that needed patrons who had an income (from the mill?) to lose? The Rock, before he becomes sheriff, comes to the casino and spots the crap table croupier switching dice for a loaded pair. The result? The Rock gets beaten up to a pulp by the casino security thugs, in front of everybody else.

And nobody cares. This ain't a good example of a casino's customer relations policy to keep people coming back.

And, among others, the scene were the Rock's office (he's now the sheriff) gets massacred for around 15 minutes of movie time with machine gunfire and other mayhem. And NOBODY from town shows up? To see what's going on? To recognize the bad guys by sight? Meanwhile, the bad guys were laughing in front of God and everybody and didn't care if anyone was watching? Again, watching paint dry is a better option. Or maybe "My Mother the Car" reruns.
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Walking Tall - The Cliff Notes Version
clydestuff5 April 2004
After having found Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's last film, The Rundown, a very enjoyable action outing, I was hoping for big things from The Rock. When I discovered his next film was this remake of the 1973 version of Walking Tall I was hoping for great things. The week before the premiere my enthusiasm was tempered by three huge things the film had working against it.

The first disappointment was in discovering it was to be an MGM release. From the studio that once boasted "more stars than there are in heaven" it can now be referred to the studio that makes it as cheap as possible, then throws it on the big screen for a few weeks, and finishes it off by rushing the DVD out to market. As a profitability concept, I can't argue whether the strategy is working or not, but having seen many of their recent films I can say it fails as far as any kind of cinematic achievements are concerned. Oh sure, once in a while they get lucky with one and it's half way decent, but it's not because of any real concern for quality.

The second slap in the face was to discover the running time was a little over an hour and fifteen minutes. Considering that the original Walking Tall with Joe Don Baker ran for over two hours, this was definitely not a good sign. Add to that the fact that I had once seen the running time of the remake listed as one hour and forty minutes, one could only guess as to what footage was now cluttering the cutting room floor.

Then the coup de grace was after reading some of the IMDB comments before leaving for the theater, we find that Vince McMahon, the guy who gave us Wrestling and even worst, the XFL, has his hand in this film some where. Things were not looking good this morning but my mind was made up and I was going to go. So, were my early hopes realized, or did my worst nightmare come true? The answer is somewhere in between.

Whereas the first Walking Tall film was a fictionalized account of Sheriff Buford Pusser of McNairy County in Tennessee, the writers, producers and director of this remake decided it wasn't fictionalized enough. Not only does it no longer take place in Tennessee, it now takes place in Washington. Our hero is no longer Buford Pusser the ex-wrestler he is now Chris Vaughn, ex U.S. Special Forces Sergeant. I guess it wouldn't have looked good to have The Rock talking negatively about wrestling the way Joe Don Baker badmouthed it in the original. Especially since Vince McMahon is a producer. Chris, unlike Buford who had a wife and two kids, is single. But he does have an ex-girlfriend lurking about somewhere. The reason I relate this information to you is because a lot of the original film depended on Buford's home life. In this version it is only slightly needed, which would partially explain the short running time. It also makes this remake a film that lacks the ability to involve us in it's storyline like we should be.

Walking Tall actually does start off well and is relatively faithful to the original. Upon returning home, Buford...err I mean Chris, returns home to find that the Lumber Mill that supported his home town has closed placing his father, Chris Sr. (John Beasley)out of work. Also living at home are his mother, his paramedic sister, and his nephew. Unfortunately, unlike the original film, his family is here for the purpose of supplying a few plot devices that develop later in the film and nothing more.

What is new in town is a corrupt casino, built by the an old buddy,(Neal Mcdonough), who closed the mill putting everybody out of work. On a visit there with his friend Ray (Johnny Knoxville), Chris finds some crooked dice at a crap game. After fighting with the casino's security force, he is subdued, viciously cut and left for dead. Later when Chris's nephew overdoses on drugs (ahh! the plot device I mentioned) supplied by the same people who knifed him, Chris decides to seek revenge. It is at this moment that the film begins to loose it's grip by degenerating into a series of poorly staged fights and even worse shoot 'em ups.

Portions of the film are entertaining, in large part due to the on screen natural charisma that The Rock has. Just as in The Rundown, the role of action hero seems to come naturally to him, and as far as acting ability is concerned, after only three leading roles he is already ahead of Schwarzenegger's capabilities after the same number of films. An even bigger surprise was Johnny Knoxville as his best friend Ray. He has some of the best written lines in the film, and seems to have just the right screen persona for his role. The rest of the cast is basically generic. Neal McDonough's villainous Jay, talks more threatening than he appears and that's a major problem. In the original film, the threat of danger always seemed imminent and except for Chris's initial fight, we never believe he or anyone else is in any real danger. Even a tussle between Ray and some guys holding Rock's family hostage is played partially for laughs, which also indicates how badly the film slips into being just another cardboard action film.

Another gripe I have though, is obviously there are chunks of this film that are missing. I don't know whether it was a studio decision, a McMahon decision, or a decision by director Bray, to cut the film, but the decision was a bad one. At times the film loses what little cohesiveness it has by leaving some scenes unfinished, and jumping inexplicably to others. Go figure.

I suppose there's nothing totally bad about being a formulaic action film, except there is no reason why this film couldn't have been and shouldn't have been so much more. If it had been developed into the same kind of engrossing story that the original was, it wouldn't matter how much they changed it. It was a golden opportunity for The Rock to really shine and strut his stuff, but it is an opportunity now lost. If memory serves me correctly, the original Walking Tall was blasted mercilessly and I think unfairly by some critics. Audiences didn't care though and they flocked to it. This remake has also been blasted by some critics and I won't disagree with them. Unfortunately for The Rock, I don't think the audiences are going to stand in line for this one.

If you want to see more about the original Walking Tall film you must do two things. First, forget that you ever saw Joe Don Baker in Mitchell, and second, get the DVD that is readily available. That's my recommendation, and when I have to recommend another film to people, I have no choice but to give the remake my grade which is a more than generous C-
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Surprisingly good movie with a strong performance from the Rock, the new action hero and actor.
Rich B29 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
First off, I'm a huge Arnie fan. I love the action flick and my hero of action is Arnie with Willis coming a close second. So when I heard that Welcome to the Jungle represented Arnie handing the mantle to some WWF wrestler I was extremely disappointed, how could anyone entertain me as Arnie had?

Well I never did see Jungle, but I have just watched Walking Tall and met this Rock fella, and you know what? I'm impressed. If this is the guy to carry on what Arnie did, I'm with him all the way.

Movie: In this movie Rock can act, and act well. He's big and really grabs a hold of the action hero role, but on top of that he's personable, engaging and very believable. He has a great screen presence, his lines aren't delivered flat, there's not any overacting and he's very real in the role.

What's more surprising is that Johnny Knocksville isn't that bad either. I've heard many negative things about this guys acting, but in this movie he doesn't do too badly. Sure, he does look a little awkward in some scenes but overall he's very competent.

Neal McDonough who I last saw in the TV show called Boomtown is, if it wasn't for Rocks surprising performance, the star of the film. Essentially playing his character from Boomtown but without any of the good characters aspects, he's mean and ruthless here, a part he plays superbly well.

The story does have an older more western or fifties feel to it, and this stands it in good stead making it feel less like a modern action movie and more of a character based story. Something it carries off really well and helped by the large performances of the actors involved. It also does a good job of building tension and developing the story at a good pace.

There's a good filming style in the movie, simple and realistic, helping the feel of the movie along leaps and bounds. That seems to come through on everything from the camera work to the dialogue and from the fight scenes to the sometimes excellent editing - most memorable as the Rock drives through town after his second Casino visit. The fight scenes benefit most from this style, giving a wide view of very realistic hand to hand fighting which often turns out to be quite brutal. The characters pick up anything to fight with and there's no stylish moves here. They are tough, vicious and the characters get seriously hurt.

Picture: Widescreen 2.35:1 - Anamorphic In keeping with the realistic tone of the film the picture is filled with natural colours and lighting, nothing is over saturated and it's clear and sharp throughout.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 - The audio is good and particularly strong during some of the fight sequences. It also features a soundtrack which matches the setting and tone of the film well.

Extras: Audio commentary from director Kevin Bray, director of photography Glen MacPherson and editor Robert Ivision, Audio commentary with star Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Alternative ending, Outtakes, 'Stunts' featurette introduced by The Rock, Photo gallery, Theatrical trailer

The deleted scenes and outtakes are interesting but not that entertaining or overly informative, apart from the Rock's accidental breast grab. The same applies to the alternative ending which is a little bit funny, but nothing revealing about the editing decisions.

The audio commentaries are the strong part of this DVD offering, with one from the Director, Director of Photography and Editor, and the other from the man himself, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Although the filmmakers commentary is informative, the commentary from the Rock is as much of a surprise as the movie itself. It's both amusing and insightful for the movie making process as well as the person himself. Surprisingly humble, self depreciating and open, the commentary lets you get to know the Rock as well as a ton of facts about the movie and the actors. This guy can talk!

Overall: I saw the first comment about this movie on IMDb and it slates it, calling it a mindless action movie. Quite frankly that's rubbish. This movie has a lot more to it that most action flicks and has a fair chunk of characterisation over them too. It's quite a morale tale, as well as one based on a true life story, and apparently it's quite true to the real story. However it does have its fair share of action, but something that stands out for the movie is the realism in which it is portrayed and shot. There are still some traditional action scenes, but for the most part it keeps it grounded and tells a good tale that does give you a warm feeling. Entertainment with a good message, I like it.

Also, for your consideration, is the performance of the Rock. Not only does he prove himself to be a great action hero, but he also surprises you in his acting ability. I was wholly taken in by him and really latched onto his performance. Don't forget we also have the delights of McDonough as his adversary.

It's well shot, well acted, and a good entertaining story with more meat than you would expect. Don't write this off as a simple action movie, look deeper, give it a chance, and check out the audio commentary by the Rock.
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The Rock is getting better
mm-3917 April 2004
Compared to the Scorpion King the Rocks acting is getting better. This is not the best film, but for action I would watch it again. The Rock from his wrestling days is a good physical actor, like Stallone, and Arnold. This is a must, not many people can do physical acting, and that is half of what makes a good action movie. That action film with the guy from Cruel Intentions shows how awful and action movie is with out good physical acting. That movie had 1) too little believability. 2) emotions of pain, physical stress do not look real 3) the action looks phony and out of place. If people think Stallone did not take some real punches for Rocky they would be mistaken, for Rocky would loose it realism with out physical realism. That part said, I find the story line good, but inferior to the original. I like true storys better than fiction. Bad events like this story shows really do happens; I would bet this movie is going be on TBS 'Guy who like movies' week. One thing I notice in this film is the Rock seems to have a real nice streak in him, I wonder if that is ture or more to do with the movie.

6 or 7 out of 10 depending if you seen the original Walking tall, for the film becomes more believable if you see the original.
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Definitely not what makes an "American Action" movie... *Spoiler*
7halo13 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Like most people; I enjoy the over-the-top, mindless drivel action movie every now and then. Who doesn't have those moments when they walk to their DVD collection, grab a couple Van Damme movies or their worn out copy of Die Hard and know that for the next hour and a half; they won't have to think. Instead, they'll be able to kick back on the couch, maybe have a couple beers and let their testosterone levels overflow with explosions, fight scenes and the random chick who's only point in the movie is to get half naked and throw out her three lines about how manly the main character is.

Walking Tall disappointed me on every level of what makes an American Action movie. It's not that we don't get those three elements; everything is there. They're just horribly disappointing.

Explosions - This may be all this movie has to offer. It's just disappointing it was done on such a small scale. Slot machines get smashed, a truck blows up (another one gets taken apart) and a building gets shot up. While I did find it amusing when Johnny Knoxville took a chain saw to a huge truck (and the 5 minute segment of them destroying this truck to look for drugs was finished), all they did was take off the doors, roll-bar lights and the grill. The only explosion was The Rock's truck. Everything else that was demolished or destroyed looks like something from an old western, saloon style brawl (ie. tables, glass, random junk that makes impacts look bigger). One positive thing, we do get to see big guns. It's only for 5 - 10 minutes though. Before and after that, the gun play is virtually non-existent. The Rock doesn't even carry a gun as the sheriff. Instead, he widdled down a 2x4 and upholds the law with that.

Fights Scenes - without say, this is the key element. While explosions are important, they're just there to glorify the fight sequences. With The Rock as the main character, you expect a lot of fighting. They delivered, but once again; on a horribly small scale. The importance of them is, well... Not important, but that's expected in an action movie. The downfall is the dynamics of the fighting. To be honest; I'm not a fan of professional wrestling, but I put that aside and watched The Rock as a legit "action superstar" (in other words, the same as I'd watch a Vin Diesel or Jackie Chan film). The fighting itself is less then glamorous. I'll use the mid-western, saloon metaphor again. It's nothing but bare-knuckle, no style fighting. And the worst thing about it is, there is no foe that rivals The Rock's ability. Every good action movie has that one guy who is an awesome fighter and pushes the hero to the edge. Not in this movie. The final stand off is The Rock vs. The Lanky Albino. The only thing that keeps the fight balanced is the umpteen-million falls they have in between the Rock beating him down to a pulp. Then to make matters worse, the trip TO the final stand-off is nothing more then a hop-skip and a trip around the block to the scene. There's NO static on the way, there's no henchmen keeping him from the final meeting, there's nothing. I think they accidentally killed off 3/4 of the cast in 10 minutes, and the director didn't realize it until it was too late. I guess that would explain the numerous falls in-order to compensate for the less than "action-esque" finale.

"Supporting" role - This will be quick. There is one "side action" scene in the entire movie. Which is normal, I'm not dogging that at all. No one expects The Rock to be good at romance, or have some lady's man charisma that gets all the girls. It just happens out of no where, which again; totally fine by me. The part that bother me is that we have to spend more time looking at The Rock with his shirt off then the "stripper turned sweetie." I mean, the scene ENDS with the former-stripper taking off her shirt.

This movie is definitely not The Rock at his best (whatever 'his best' might be). If you're desperate for an action movie and nothing else is sounding even remotely good; I'd still advise against it and rent an old 70's Kung-Fu movie instead. If you're not into Kung-Fu movies, well... Go ahead and rent it. If you watch it with absolutely no expectations and don't try to compare it to any other classics; you might actually get a miniscule amount of entertainment from it. If you can watch bad movies and laugh at them, then you'll enjoy this.
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A short and brainless action movie
christian12321 November 2004
The Rock plays Chris Vaughan, a special forces soldier who returns home to revive his family lumber business only to discover that the town has been corrupted by drugs and violence thanks to a crooked casino boss (Neal McDonough). Swearing to clean up his hometown, Vaughan takes matters in his own hand in a way that epitomizes the saying "speak softly and carry a big stick".

The story is pretty generic yet this could have been a good, stylish, slick action movie. The final result is only average and a bit of a disappointment. I only rated the movie above average because of The Rock. He's makes a good hero and he gives a pretty good performance. Just watching him kick ass is pretty fun and he's good at that. He's working with a weak script though. The story is kind of lame and it doesn't really develop well. Actually nothing really develops since the film is only about 75 minutes long. This may or may not be problem depending on if you want a brainless action film or something with a little more substance.

Besides for The Rock, the only other person that stands out is Neal McDonough. He does the best with his role and gives a good performance. Johnny Knoxville tried too hard to be funny and he ended up being annoying. He doesn't hurt the film but he doesn't help it either. Kevin Bray directs this remake and he does a decent job. He's pretty weak when it comes to telling a good story but he does a decent job with the action. The action itself isn't that impressive and the film gets boring from time to time. Walking Tall is also highly unrealistic so don't go in expecting a realistic movie. Example, someone falls two stories and he is still able to fight without much trouble. Compared to The Rock's previous films, Walking Tall is better than the Scorpion King but not as good as The Rundown. In the end, this might make a decent rental for those who want a brainless action flick but there's very little substance to support the action. Rating 6/10
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Crawling not walking...
jbacks3-13 December 2005
I recall seeing the hit Bing Crosby-produced original in 1973 and thought it was okay... and a fitting tribute to the memory of Sheriff Pusser and his family. So I reordered it on NetFlix and they sent me the remake by mistake. My complaints? First off, this bears no resemblance to the Pusser story (Washington state?). It's more of 'Road House' meets 'Rambo.' There's nothing here that anyone hasn't seen done better a dozen times before. The phoned-in script could've been written on a damp cocktail napkin and 'The Rock' could be used to describe his acting range. Nothing about this version approaches the level of creative inspiration. It's a total waste of time. Thankfully, it's also one of the shortest movies I've ever seen. Bleeaaach and yawn... back in the mail you go.
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Where you all watching a different film???
samt-431 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I would like to speak to the people that voted this film a ten, surely they understand nothing about A) Acting B) Dialogue C) Plot D) What makes a good film!!! This was one of the worst films I have ever seen, without a doubt, absolutely shocking! The whole idea of The Rock blatantly smashing up a casino and getting away with it because because they cut him up was ridiculous, he still did the crime for f$$K sake!! The crowning moment had to be when they threw him the piece of wood (The evidence!!!) and he went off to become sheriff (sacking all the staff) and then preceded to walk around with a piece of wood and Jonny Knoxville as his partner!! What the F**k was the director thinking??!

There is only one film I have seen worse than this and that is True Friends. Both films were funny because the acting was so bad! Someone owes me money for the time I spent watching this! I even preferred Kangaroo Jack! Do yourself a favour and avoid this movie.
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Walking Small
Sparky4810 May 2011
From the outset, I want to say that I have never been a fan of movie remakes. Hollywood remakes, similar to sequels, are just vain attempts by movie producers to replicate the success of previous movie blockbusters. However, on the second time around, the replication rarely works. And, unfortunately, the 2004 version of "Walking Tall" is no exception.

In the 2004 remake, famed wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays the "Walking Tall" lead character, Chris Vaughn. However, unlike Joe Don Baker, who played Buford Pusser in the original '70s' movie, Chris Vaughn is a biracial bachelor, with a family consisting of his two parents (black father and a white mother), a sister, and a kid nephew.

With his brawn body definition and commanding presence, "The Rock" effectively personifies the appearance of the movie's lead character as a one-man militia out to take on the mob. However, and as many would expect, Johnson's lack of professional acting experience and skills significantly hinders his capability in efficiently delivering the lead role in this movie, making his performance, at best, somewhat mundane. And, unfortunately, Kevin Bray's quirky direction of the movie does very little to compensate.

However, the story line and theme of the second movie doesn't deviate significantly from the original '70s' cult classic, telling the based-on-real-life tale of a principled, morally upstanding man returning to his hometown and waging a battle against the corruption and crime that currently plagues it. And the 2004 version also showcases all of the most notable elements of the original--the violent, near-fatal knife slashing; the subsequent display of body scars in court; knockdown, drag-out casino brawls; gun battles; and, of course, the signature trademark weapon of revenge and authority: a wooden club.

Yet what makes this remake so disappointing is that the emotional impact that made the original movie so popular during the 1970s is entirely absent from the 2004 movie. While the original movie effectively used disturbingly violent scenes and on-screen tragedy to incite the viewer to sympathize with the plight of Bufford Pussner, the remake--even with its own display of incessant violence--doesn't seem to generate the same effective emotional empathy with the Chris Vaughn character. And the remake, particularly with its lame and somewhat abrupt ending, also lacks the substance and the climatic grip that made the original version of "Walking Tall" so powerful and poignant.

As with most Hollywood remakes, you're probably better off to watch the original movie and simply pass on the imitation. The 2004 version of "Walking Tall" will most likely disappoint, especially if you have previously viewed the original 1973 movie.
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A star vehicle that crashed into a tree
Derek2379 May 2004
After The Scorpion King and The Rundown, I guess they needed another generic action movie to turn The Rock into a big action star. I just bet they had this idea of remaking Walking Tall on the shelf for years; just waiting for the right star to cash in on. I'll tell you right now- this is not a good movie. It barely even feels like a whole movie (you'll be hearing this over and over in reviews, trust me). The action was only okay, the story doesn't evolve any further than what you hear on the commercials, and it's just dull.

I don't really resent Walking Tall, it's not horrible or anything. It's just not good. It didn't even really try to be good. At all. The people who made it probably just figured, "Hey, if we get The Rock to star in it, people will see it." Well, people did go see it, and people were disappointed. I know cause I'm one of them.

My rating: 2/10
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Violent motion picture with intense and raw struggles
ma-cortes9 January 2006
The film focuses upon Chris Vaughn(The Rock)a former US soldier who goes back to his home and finds the town is ruled by a corrupt ringleader(Neal McDonough) owned of a casino.Drug and crime run over the place and he along with a friend(Johnny Knoxville) decides clean it converting himself in Sheriff .Meanwhile he falls in love with a stripper(Kristen Wilson). The film is a powerful story about one army man and his fight for what he believes in and he has to find justice outside of the law . Director Kevin Bray captures every bone-crunching hit,kick,punch ,he wants to make sure that the action was raw,intense action sequences.Today's cinematic world of explosions,gunplay,people floating through the air and everything else you could imagine however this film is a just straight-up,old-fashioned,old school,hard nose,blue-collar and great feeling of realism .Club-wielding sheriff with a four by four piece of ceder gives hits and punch.The protagonist admirable rendered by the Rock has a big stick and he's trying to knock somebody's jaw loose.Violents incidents have a different flavor and character to go on and do more to succeed at his goal.The first incident in casino has a train-wreck chaos and hell breaks loose in old-fashioned stomp .In the next incident when he returns for revenge,it's more stealthy kind of shooting style because it's a more stealthy incident,he's got a bit of a plan even though he's acting out of rage,he's using the techniques and skills that he learned in the military.The third is basically just make it as riveting and energetic as possible,just a real thing,director is bringing back the movies of old,of yesterday that really took visceral raw action and put it on screen .This is an ultraviolent crime film wowed the movie-going public. The picture is dedicated to the memory of Tenesse folk hero sheriff Buford Passer but is based on real deeds.In fact,the movie is a remake of ¨Walking Tall¨1973 by Phil Karlson (with Joe Don Baker) and spawned numerous sequels(with Bo Svenson)and TV series.This film is even more violent than original . Rating : Mediocre but entertained
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Dear God!
drowninginbrainjuice18 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Here it is. The, movie. The creme of the crop.

First I should warn you of spoilers. With that out of the way let's get to the review.

The basic plot of this one: overall great guy and ex-special forces member Chris Vaughn comes back home to find new work. His town is now run by criminals so, as the only good guy in town who know's how to snap necks, it is up to him to set things right. Just go with it okay.

Now how can you ruin a deep plot like that you might ask (if you haven't already realized it I'm trying to use as much sarcasm as I can here). Well we have a run time of 75 minutes. That gives our main actor Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson (look for this guy to win academy awards in the future ;D), when you consider the amount of low quality action and pointless one-liners, almost no time to actually act.

Let me give you a big spoiler to show how stupid this movie is. After being a victim of tainted justice, Vaughn decides to run for sheriff. He slams his fist in a courtroom and rips open his shirt, showing everyone his cut up chest (after being tortured by the evil casino guys). Next scene. He's the sheriff! He's driving around in his police truck with his trusty two by four, now with a carved handle, hanging on a gun rack behind him! How do you fight criminals? Why with a corrupt policeman of course! He pulls over one of these casino guys and smashes out his tail lights. That's right Vaughn, you clean up that town! This movie is awful. It is so, so awful! Perhaps you should go see it just to see how awful it is. It is so awful.
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Walking Tall is more like The Rock is sitting down
ironhorse_iv12 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Rock is one of the greatest performer in and outside of the ring, but 'Walking Tall' isn't one of his best. Dwayne Johnson is missing the stuff that made him famous. His character of Chris Vaughn lacks his sense of humor, his charisma, and his ability to hook the audience's attention. Hooking the audience is the key and sadly this movie does not. The Rock's persona got cut back, as Chris felt more like a bland Boy Scout. Chris Vaughn is supposedly based on famous sheriff, Bufurd Pusser of the 1960's. This film ever cut the best parts of the original Walking Tall story by having the events place out in Washington, rather than the Deep South. Nothing against Washington, but the Deep South is where the real Buford Pusser's story begins. Pusser is known for his virtual one-man war on moon-shining, prostitution, gambling, and other vices on the Mississippi-Tennessee state-line. As sheriff, Pusser survived seven stabbings and eight shootings. At less, the 1973 version kept him in the same area and same name. That movie had Joe Don Baker as Buford Pusser, and it did kinda strays pretty far from the basic facts of the crusading sheriff's life. It's not a great film, but there is some entertainment value associated with it despite the endless amounts of boom mikes in some of its shots. The film made Pusser, a ex pro-wrestler who comes over to stop a casino and prostitution ring with a 2x4 Wooden Board, that was later use as a gimmick for another wrestler Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Walking Tall was rated R, having more violence than the 2004 version. For goodness sakes, Pusser almost got his jaw almost blown off, and his T-shirt so soaked with blood. The 2004 movie plays it safe with it being PG-13. Having it PG-13 somewhat hurts the film, due to the reasons that I can't find the villains to be much of a threat, the Rock can't be the bad-ass he is, and the movie felt like safe career move for Dwayne Johnson. Vaughn, the homespun do-gooder underdog type, will only further cement Dwayne likable movie persona. That's why it seem like Chris Vaughn is carrying a 2x4 of boredom while cleaning his town. After return home from service, U.S Army Special Forces Chris Vaughn looks for work at the mill to find it closed and a casino has taken it's place as the main source of income of the town. He soon find out that his old school mate Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough) is the owner. Neal McDonough is just what you'd expect from a generic bad guy - he does a lot of sneering and nothing more. Not only does Jay own the place, but his ex-girlfriend Deni (Ashley Scott) works as a stripper there. Ashley Scott is just what you'd expect from a generic girlfriend - she has a nice body, an acceptable face, and almost no dialogue. After noticing the casino is fixed and selling drugs. He wrecked the place. So if you want to become Sheriff, go berserk and wreck a casino. Then become your own lawyer at your trial, and plead why you should be Sheriff to a town that hasn't saw you in years. Tell them that the casino is evil despite probably most of them income comes from working at the casino. Yes-surely that would trust you. Chris Vaughn runs for sheriff, wins somehow and fired all the polices due to original Sheriff abusing his power. Rock doesn't like that, so Rock abusing his power to fight against the casino. Meh. Chris call upon his friend Ray (Johnny Knoxville) to try to stop the casino's drug running. Clearly Johnny is just there to be a comedy relief and it's just awfully clear. He plays himself most of the time. Sorry, but I don't buy Chris Vaughn, a crusader against drugs hanging out with a foreign alcoholic man like Ray. Their goal to ruin the casino, and save the town by doing so. Wouldn't the town go under if the casino went away, and how on earth will they rebuild the mill with no money? Does he have a million dollars somewhat to start it back up? Face it, this movie is lackluster at best, and is lead by a man who is only famous for beating up other men in questionable context. The action fighting scene looks faker than the pro-wrestling, he came from. For somebody that came from the Special Forces, his character really doesn't know how to do hand to hand combat. Lot of dull moments full of combination of very loosely based fact and Hollywood revisionism. Walking Tall had the potential of being something very good, but end up playing it safe.
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empty, halfhearted remake
Buddy-5123 December 2005
As society in general became progressively more liberal in the 1970's, an entire genre of films rose up in reaction to the trend - movies in which an individual, frustrated with a legal system that seemed to be coddling criminals, took it upon himself to mete out his own brand of "frontier justice," usually involving personal vengeance and vigilante-style violence. The seminal films of this genre - "Billy Jack," "Dirty Harry," "Death Wish" and "Walking Tall" - all found favor with mass audiences, although critics tended to dismiss them as, at best, reactionary, and, at worst, neo-fascist in nature. Now, one of them, "Walking Tall," has been retrofitted to cater to audiences in the already far more conservative 21st Century.

The original 1973 "Walking Tall" was based on the true story of Buford Pusser, the sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee, who won fame by single-handedly wiping out the criminal elements who had overrun his town. It was a one-man "crusade for justice" that came at great personal cost to himself and his family (his wife was murdered and Pusser died a few years later in a "mysterious" car accident). In this new version - which eliminates most of the grittier elements of the story and turns it into a rock'em-sock'em, live-action cartoon - Pusser's name has been changed to Chris Vaughn and the locale has been moved from the Appalachians to the Pacific Northwest. Chris is a recently discharged soldier who, upon returning to his small hometown, discovers that the place has become a hotbed of vice and corruption, its citizenry forced to live in fear under the tyrannical control of the local casino owner and all-around meanie, Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough). When Chris has finally had a bellyful of malfeasance and sleaze, he decides to run for sheriff, vowing to bring the criminals to their knees, and thus allowing the good folks of the town to reclaim their community.

This is a silly and shallow film whose only real purpose seems to be to give the perpetually self-righteous and outraged Vaughn an excuse to hurl endless bric-a-brac and breakaway furniture around the set while the local townsfolk look on in slack-jawed amazement. Never one to be deterred by such quaint and fusty notions as civil liberties or Miranda rights, Sheriff Vaughn chases down the bad guys one by one, smashing heads and busting bones as he goes. The plot is so underdeveloped that the final confrontation scene between Chris and his arch nemesis, Hamilton, feels like a mere afterthought. The film runs barely 75 minutes, yet boasts a 10-minute long closing credit sequence to pad it out to 85! It's as if even the filmmakers themselves had run out of interest in the project and figured they might as well just wrap things up as quickly as possible so they would be free to move on to bigger and better things.

Usually, in a film based on true life events, when the names are changed, it's to protect the innocent. In the case of "Walking Tall," it's more likely that the people who made the film were trying to protect themselves from being sued by the Pusser estate.
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