Blu Ray Review - "The Rundown"

When debt collector/pseudo bounty hunter Beck (The Rock) want out of the business, his boss, Walker (William Duckling), sends him on one last mission. Beck heads to Brazil to track down Walker's son Travis (Sean William Scott) and bring him back to the States. It seems like an easy enough task until Beck finds himself in the middle of a cultural war between the locals and slumlord Hatcher (Christopher Walken).

Apparently I didn't learn from my own Rock-related lesson with "Planet 51." Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. Either way, Netflix delivered me another craptastic action movie starring The Rock (who, again, I will not call Dwayne Johnson until he proves he can act) and I watched. I'd actually heard good things about "The Rundown" from people I trust so I'm willing to admit that my Rock prejudice may have gotten in the way here. But...


Truthfully, The Rock isn't even the worst part. He's up there, sure, but he's the secondary issue. The real problem here is the movie's identity crisis as defined by director Peter Berg. Let me be clear: I'm a big fan of Berg. The three movies he did after "The Rundown" ("Friday Night Lights", "The Kingdom", and "Hancock") are all extremely strong, especially those first two. Maybe he just hadn't found his groove yet when he made this thing or maybe he just hitched his wagon to the wrong fake movie star. Regardless, this thing can't figure out whether it's a serious action movie or an over-the-top send up. I can enjoy either one. I'm not against absurdity when it's done right and even when it's done wrong I can usually just give it a pass on the grounds of no harm, no foul. But I can't get on board for a movie that jumps back and forth across the Ridiculous Line. One minute it seems like "The Rundown" wants to be legit, the next The Rock is flying through the air like freaking Peter Pan. I feel like this movie would have fit in fine in the 80s but things have changed since then. "Die Hard" changed the game for action movies. If Berg had gone all-in and thrown together an 80s homage/throwback flick (like "The A-Team" for instance) then I think it's possible that I could get past The Rock sinking every scene like the on-screen dead weight he is. But as it is, the stupidity of the plot and the juvenile comedy (can any movie that features a monkey humping a human be considered funny?) just eaccentuate how bad The Rock is.

Grade: D

Sean William Scott is funny, though,