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Published on June 19th, 2008 | by simeon

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Walking Tall

Action icon The Rock returns to the big screen in the updated version of “Walking Tall”. Inspired by the 1970’s trio of films, the story again centers around ones mans quest to clean up a small town and restore order and community pride.
The Rock stars as Chris Vaughn, a former Special Forces operative who returns to his small Washington mill town to discover that the mill has closed down and that a casino and adult bookstore have become the main source of business in town.
The casino is run by Jay Hamilton Jr. (Neal Mc Donough), a former friend of Chris who upon inheriting his fathers wealth, closed the local mill and opened the casino displacing many workers including Chris’s father.
Chris and his friend Ray (Johnny Knoxville), decide to take Jay’s offer of a paid night in his casino to celebrate his return, but things quickly take a turn for the worse when Chris discovers that loaded dice are being used at a table and decided to stand up for those he believes were cheated at the table. After a fierce confrontation with the casino security force, Chris is beaten, mutilated and left for dead in the street.
Following his recovery, Chris learns that the local Sheriff will not press charges and begins to learn that Jay and his men run the town. When Chris’s nephew nearly overdoses on drugs, Chris decides to end the problem by taking on those who are responsible. In short order, Chris wins the office of Sheriff in the local election and clears out the entire force in an effort to bring justice to the town.
Naturally Jay and his men are not about to let Chris disrupt their control and crooked business schemes and a high stakes battle for supremacy ensues.
“Walking Tall” is an entertaining film that works thanks in large part to the charisma of The Rock. What might have failed in the hands of others works well here as there is a sympathetic quality to Chris, and a good mix action and humor that keeps the film moving along. The Rock is also making impressive strides in his acting, as he is able to convey his emotions without being to over the top.
The supporting work of Knoxville is good as is the performance of Mc Donough who mixes charisma and menace to provide a nice foil to the antagonists.
The Rock continues to impress with his film work as his third starring role continues his impressive knack for finding the right vehicles for his talents. If The Rock continues to maintain quality film choices with parts that stretch him he could easily become the biggest name in action films. The action of the film is solid as is the story, which should delight fans old and new.
3.5 stars out of 5


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