Walking Tall Kevin Bray

Walking Tall Kevin Bray
Walking Tall is a remake of the 1973 film (based on a true story) starring Joe Don Baker as Buford Pusser, an ex-wrestler who moves back home to take out the trash in his family's corrupt neighbourhood. This 2004 film is almost exactly the same, except the Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) plays Chris Vaughn, a former Special Forces agent, which immediately leads you to believe that this muscular wonder may be a little ashamed of his ticket to popularity. With that in mind, this film feels a little fraudulent for deciding to cover up the wrestler-cum-actor's past. Regardless, the Rock has a lot of potential to be the next big action hero and follow in the footsteps of Arnie and Sly. However, first he has to show that he is even remotely interested in acting. His character isn't meant to burst with giggles, but the Rock surpasses the detached, remorseful personality and reaches a level of wooden iciness that gives the impression he's not capable of pulling off any persona but his wrestling one. Even worse is Johnny Knoxville's performance, which is unfortunate. His likeable personality just doesn't translate well with a script that works under such limits. Instead of being his true Jackass self, he is simply a dumb sidekick who fails at hitting his comedic moments. Not to pick apart the film too badly, but the action is also a little too unbelievable for something that we're actually supposed to believe in (how much more could they push this as a true story?). And while there are a lot of psychotic hillbillies in the U.S. that know how to use their guns, the fact that they so easily turn them on the sheriff at full blast just to please their sleazy boss is far too unlikely. The DVD's extras are the film's saving grace. While the alternate ending and deleted scenes are wasteful, the blooper real is really quite funny, revealing a much lighter side to the Rock that would have made his character and this film more enjoyable if incorporated. Plus: commentary, photo gallery. (MGM)