The Rock as Chris Vaughn
Johnny Knoxville as Ray Templeton
Neal McDonough as Jay Hamilton
Kristen Wilson as Michelle Vaughn
Ashley Scott as Deni
Khleo Thomas as Pete Vaughn
John Beasley as Chris Vaughn Sr.
Barbara Tarbuck as Connie Vaughn
Michael Bowen as Sheriff Stan Watkins
Kevin Durand as Booth
Andrew Tarbet as Jimmy
Patrick Gallagher as Keith
John Stewart as Rusty
Eric Breker as Deputy Ralston
Ryan Robbins as Travis
“Fight The Good Fight” Stunts Featurette
Audio Commentary by The Rock
Audio Commentary by The Director and Crew
Original Theatrical Trailer
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
French and Spanish Language Track
French, English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
This film is a remake of the 1973 film “Walking Tall”. It is based on the real life of Sheriff Buford Pusser.
When Chris Vaughn returns home after 8 years in the military, he finds his hometown isn’t quite the same. It is now overrun by drugs, police corruption, and violence. At the center of it all is a new casino owned by his old friend Jay Hamilton. He has become the new local crime lord.
Chris initially ignores the town’s problems, but when he runs afoul of Hamilton’s goons, he takes it personally. He soon finds he’s the only one willing to stand up against the criminals and corrupt police. Vaughn eventually runs for Sheriff and wins. With the law on his side now, Vaughn takes the battle to clean up the town to Hamilton’s front doorstep.
Walking Tall is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense violence, sexual content, drug material and language.
I think it’s safe to say that if you like movies starring The Rock, then you’ll probably enjoy Walking Tall. It has your typical good fight scenes, macho characters, an obligatory love interest, and comedy. All in all it’s standard fare from The Rock. You already know if it’s up your alley or not. So far I’ve liked The Rock’s films and this one was no exception. I don’t think it’s his best film to date, but it’s a solid action movie. I never saw the original “Walking Tall”, so I can’t say how it compares. However, I bet its safe to say that there’s very little of the original story here beyond the “revenge” concept.
This is probably the noblest character that the Rock has ever played. The Scorpion King definitely had a dark side. His character in The Rundown was a mob enforcer. However, in Walking Tall, he’s a basically all around good guy. While it makes him a little blander, it makes him a bit more believable, too. However, it’s not his character that you really care about in these kinds of films it’s the fighting. The Rock kicks butt in a satisfying way, this time with a board as his weapon of choice. (I keep being reminded of the aliens on The Simpsons that were thwarted by a board… with a nail in it!) There’s a good, traditional brawl in the casino early on, a second more slick fight halfway through, and a nice gunfight towards the end. Of course ol’ Dwayne Johnson looks great in all of them.
The Rock’s nemesis in this film is Neal McDonough as Jay Hamilton. I initially didn’t think the guy was any sort of match for The Rock, but he ended up pulling it off. He was appropriately slimy early in the film and by the end he was more than a match for him in physical combat. They made it believable because Hamilton catches Vaughn off guard and wounds him enough early on to level the playing field. That made the final fight a little more realistic. Johnny Knoxville is also good as Ray Templeton, Vaughn’s sidekick and the comedy relief of the movie. Knoxville generates most of the much needed laughs in the film. Ashley Scott is good eye candy as Deni while John Beasley is a pretty good match for The Rock’s father as Chris Vaughn Sr.
I also liked the soundtrack of this film. It had a good mix of classic rock tunes and alternative rock tunes. You’ll hear Midnight Rider, Higher Ground, and other such tunes. It fit the macho mood of the story well.
If you’re looking for a decent popcorn flick, Walking Tall will fit the bill. It’s not a classic action movie, but it’s not bad either.
There are a few extras included on this DVD:
Deleted Scenes There are three deleted scenes included here and they are extremely brief. One shows Vaughn and his buddies at a poker table in the casino early in the film. Another scene shows Vaughn and Deni chatting in his car before his trial. The final scene shows Vaughn moving out of his parent’s house and talking to his young nephew. Like I said, they aren’t remarkable.
Bloopers In these bloopers, we see The Rock repeatedly trying to break the taillight, running into a wall, and other accidents. They are less than a minute long all together.
Alternate Ending In this weak alternate ending, we see Vaughn and Templeton sitting on the Vaughn family porch as his dad goes back to work at the mill. They debate whether or not Templeton will stay on as deputy and the film ends. I think the other ending was a little better.
“Fight The Good Fight” Stunts Featurette This featurette highlights the fight stunts in the film. There’s a lot of behind the scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew. They are pretty proud of the fact that they have more realistic, traditional fights than those in, say, The Matrix. It’s a brief video, but it gives you more appreciation for what they accomplished with the fight scenes.
Audio Commentary by The Rock The Rock offers a pretty lively commentary. He lays it out pretty early that he won’t offer art house film commentary, but entertainment. He talks about how he got the remake made, what it was like filming in Vancouver, and more. He also talks about changes made to the script, the real Sheriff Pusser, and other such topics. It ends up being a great commentary.
Audio Commentary by The Director and Crew Director Kevin Bray and editor Robert Ivison provide the second commentary for this film. It’s more geared to the technical aspects of the making of the film and it’s a bit drier than The Rock’s commentary. They probably would have done better to combine them.
The Bottom Line:
Fans of The Rock and action movies will want to check out Walking Tall. It’s not The Rock’s best movie, but it is a decent popcorn flick.