|Directed by:||George Tillman, Jr.|
|Written by:||Joe Gayton, Tony Gayton|
|Cast:||Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Maggie Grace, Moon Bloodgood, Carla Gugino|
Finally, The Rock is back in action. Or is it Dwayne Johnson? Whatever, it'll always be 'Rock' to me.
After one too many family films the Rock is back to doing what he does best -- kicking ass. Remember Walking Tall? The Rundown? Hell even The Scorpion King? Hell yeah. The Rundown still to this day is one of my favourite action movies and I've been sitting through Witch Mountain and the Tooth Fairy waiting for him to get back to that kind of stuff. Well alright, I was sitting through the previews waiting for him to get back but I'm sure you were too.
So, does it make up for all the time missed? No, but it's a solid addition and a more entertaining film than most have put it out to be. The odd thing about this one is that it's a straight forward revenge flick on the part of Rock's character, and boy does he crack a few cans of whup-ass with his snub-nose without mercy. Now the odd thing is that it's also surprisingly more than that, there's two other intersecting characters that also carry their own plot and in the end are all connected to Rock in more ways than you think going in. That part was definitely a warm and intriguing surprise.
Personally I would've been happy if it was just The Rock going out and kicking ass getting revenge on countless baddies, but it's a different film than you would think. The body count isn't incredibly high in fact very few people die by the hand of Rock's character, but when the shootout scenes and death scenes come they're very intense, stylish and in a lot of ways realistic. The story follows two other characters that make the journey with our main character. One of them, a previously handicapped young man who made billions of dollars doing some sort of computer programming and continued on to regain the use of his legs via surgery and then explore life (you know, like most people--climb mountains, go cave diving, race cars professionally, master just about everything in the book... alright, like most people who are young billionaires who get bored easily) and it's revealed that this young man has actually gotten so bored with all these experiences that he wanted to find a new way to feel 'alive' and took up well, killing people. This part is a bit far'fetched and one of the things that I didn't like about the movie, but it wasn't so bad it hurt the movie in a crippling way (no pun intended).
Anyways our second supporting character is played by Billy Bob Thorton who is a cop on the brink of retirement... oh, and he's got a thing for Heroin. As usual Billy Bob managed to put in a few laughs especially in the scenes with his son and with his fellow detective but also brought some solid emotion in a way that matched and made up for the aforementioned young hitman who at times comes off a bit whiny and annoying. Thorton's character isn't anything groundbreaking or terribly new, but it's a nice twisted character added into the movie.
I won't ruin how everything ties together in the end but while it ends up satisfying the climax is, in reflection, a bit underwhelming -- it could've been better. What I'm referring to is not the actual last scenes of the movie, that's acceptable and entertaining, but rather that moment where everything is explained and how everyone is connected. The reason it felt a bit anticlimactic is because when it is all explained -- it's basically already been known for 15 minutes, which kinda dries it out.
However for what it was it was a entertaining action flick with some badass attitude and action from Rock, a handful of very sexy cars, some great music and a few stylish directorial choices. The action was more intense and visceral than I thought and the story was more emotionally impacting than I thought it would be. Although there were flaws and the movie could've been better (was hoping for a last-hurrah car chase scene at the end or something) it was rather entertaining and a solid addition to the action/revenge flick genre and a solid "I'm back" from the Rock.