Action
The Rundown - Welcome to the Jungle
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Dir: Peter Berg
Star: The Rock, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ewen Bremner
Cert / Year: 15 - PG13 / 2003
Format: DVD R1
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Beck (The Rock) is a retrieval expert who is in debt to mob boss Walker. He is given the chance to write off his debt by retrieving Walker's son Travis (Seann William Scott). The only problem is that Travis is currently treasure hunting in the jungle in Brazil. Beck soon finds out that matters are complicated when local crime boss Hatcher (Christopher Walken) and the leader of the freedom fighters also want Travis, as they believe he knows the location of mythical treasure. This is one retrieval that will take Beck into a Jungle he knows nothing about.

Ok so wrestlers can't act, can they? Well there was always Roddy Piper, and Hulk Hogan was entertaining in some kids movies, but The Rock has been so far less than impressive in the Mummy sequel and it's spin off. In this movie I have to admit all that has changed. Action heroes don't need a great range. They have to look cool, deliver one-liners, hit people, and get blown up a lot. With Stallone and Schwarzenegger (look out for his brief cameo) getting too old in the tooth the film industry needs new heroes, with this movie I can say after this film in The Rock they have found one.

This movie has some top-notch action scenes. CGI and wirework have taken a background role, while old-fashioned explosions and fighting rule the roost. The Rock is ultra cool as he uses a combination of brute force and wrestling moves to simply destroy his opponents. The stunt work is simply outstanding, whether it is plummeting down a mountainside, or taking out a bar full of gun toting bad guys. There are loads of "wow that's cool" moments. Quite simply the it's impressive stuff.

The other half of the film is the comedy, and yet again Seann William Scott provides in his now trade mark comedy sidekick role. It's all very reminiscent of his role in Bulletproof Monk, and yet again he is very effective. It's just a shame that the sometimes cliché ridden dialogue doesn't give him more scope. However the character that suffers most from the clichés is the bad guy Hatcher. Fortunately the role is saved by the casting of a rather portly Christopher Walken, who makes it all work and gives our hero's the nemesis they deserve.

Another great plus point is the superb direction of the action scenes by Peter Berg. Some really neat effects have been used to give the action real zip. This manages to make the fights seem even cooler than they probably are. If top awards go to his fight direction then he doesn't fair so good well in pacing the linking scenes. They are rather too long and although are entertaining they do let the proceedings flag. It's a shame as when this film gets going it's one hell of a ride.

The Rundown (or Welcome to the Jungle) is a really fun film. There are plenty of laughs and lots of action. If on occasion the action flags well it's not a fatal flaw. The Rock is the real revelation here as Christopher Walken and Seann William Scott put in their usual high quality performances. He is very good indeed, and I for one will be looking forward to seeing him in the future. This is an entertaining action movie from its impressive opening to the excellent final fight, and while it's not perfect it's really worth a watch.

The Rock rocks.

Quotes

Hatcher: That's a lot of cows.

Beck: You have two choices. Option A: you give me the ring. Option B: I make you give me the ring.
Miller: I'll take B.
Beck: Wrong Choice.

Rating: 4 out of 5

DVD
Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic Very good but a little dark
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Brilliant sound really well used
Features Commentary by Peter Berg and The Rock
Commentary by Producers
6 interesting featurettes
Deleted scenes
Cast and crew biographies
Verdict Good transfer with outstanding sound. Plus quite a few good extras.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home