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VINE VOICEon September 29, 2003
Option B- I MAKE YOU go see The Rundown.
The Rundown marks the arrival of Dwayne Johnson, A.K.A. "The Rock" as a bona-fide movie star. As Beck, a "Retrieval Expert" who longs for a simpler life as a chef, he displays for the first time on film the humor and charisma that won him "Millions....and MILLIONS!" of fans in the WWE. Dispatced to the South American town of El Dorado (Called Hell Dorado by the locals) to fetch Travis Walker (Seann William Scott), the wayward son of his shady boss, Beck gets more than he bargained for. He finds Travis easily enough, but getting him home might pose more of a problem. Not only does Travis not WANT to go home, but local land baron Hatcher (The hilariously nutty Christopher Walken, at his eye-popping best here) won't LET him go...At least not until Travis finds a mythical golden idol for him. The Rock vs. an army of gun-toting slave-drivers......Place your bets!
As I said earlier, The Rock is awesome in his role, bringing a mix of self-effacing humor and quiet strength to the mix, balancing out the potentially irritating Scott's whiny character. Walken is, as always, a joy to watch. His diatribe about The Tooth Fairy is worth the price of admission alone, and hearing him say "Oompa-Loompa" is sure to go down in history as one of my all-time favorite movie lines. Director Peter Berg shows himself to be equally comfortable with comedy and action; He keeps the film moving along at a brisk pace, and the action scenes are simply stunning- Not only are the fights choreographed beautifully, but the action is easy to follow, with none of the choppy editing and shaky photography that has ruined many an action movie.
The Rundown is just what it portrays itself as: A fun buddy picture. I had a blast, and so did everyone else in the theater. If you're in the mood for action, The Rundown is a sure bet. If you smell what I'm cookin'.....
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VINE VOICEon May 11, 2004
Well, I wasn't expecting a great deal from this film. In fact, I probably wouldn't have seen it at all if it hadn't gotten surprisingly good reviews. The Rock was pretty forgettable in 'The Scorpion King', although not terrible, but he puts in a great performance here. Tasked with the retrieval of a wayward son, he ends up in a three (or four) way hunt for a mysterious golden idol, along the way enountering everything from homicidal gold miners to jungle rebels to packs of angry monkeys. It is one funny movie, and the action scenes are great. Most importantly, the cast has both charisma and quality, and the dialogue isn't nearly as stilted as you'd expect in a typical action film. You can tell they all had fun making the movie, perhaps because it was actually filmed in Hawaii. Regardless, you should check this out even if you have doubts about it, because it will win you over.
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HALL OF FAMEon April 15, 2004
This movie is truly Rock-solid; the inimitable pro-wrestler turned actor admirably struts his stuff here in terms of sheer muscular star power and heavyweight charisma, and proceeds to turn the Amazonian jungle upside down in the process. This is certainly no dramatic masterpiece, but all of the cast are excellent in this incredible action movie, especially Christopher Walken, doing a turn as a witty yet egomaniacal villain who simply isn't prepared for the consequences as `Beck' (the Rock) arrives on his doorstep in his part of the jungle to retrieve the errant son of a gangster he is indebted to. The murder and mayhem that ensue make up two hours of first class entertainment as we find Rock against the world, and the world getting the worst part of the deal.
The movie is wonderfully photographed, and the comic moments flow from the opening sequences, when Beck step into a crowded bar to retrieve a debt from a pro football player. The ensuing madness is so well choreographed and played out that it is entirely believable despite the fact that it is strictly super-heroics that the character Rock plays has to deliver to punch, elbow, and drop-kick the whole offensive line of a pro football team in pursuit of his man. Likewise, the bar-room fight scene that sets up the rest of the movie once Beck arrives in Brazil is a study in athletic make-believe, so far out it is both fun and amazing to watch, as long as you can suspend your critical faculties long enough to not laugh out loud at the silliness of some of the supposed stunts. But the Rock never disappoints, and he always entertains!
Indeed, like some of the better early Schwarzenegger movies (e.g. `Predator'), the wit and winsome qualities of both the characters and the plot are indeed quite entertaining despite the fact we all know who is going to win, and thus have very little doubt as to how things will progress as the tale spins along toward its conclusion. Also, one can see that Rock is rising very quickly to fill the action hero void once held by Arnie and Sly Stallone. He has a lot of screen presence, and is a joy to watch in action. What's more, he seems to handle himself very well, and is quite believable on the screen, which is no small feat given the cartoon-like aspects of the story line. All in all, a great action flick, and one you will likely want to include in your video library. Enjoy!
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Praise for The Rock's performance in this film is not overrated. He has come into his own in this film and established himself as a true actor and not just a muscle-bound cretin. The Rock plays Beck, a polite leg-breaker for a low-life loan shark with big-time "clients" such as NFL super stars. In a business where violence is his back-up when diplomacy doesn't work, Beck loathes guns and has a deeper desire to run his own 5-star restaurant and leave this knuckle-busting life behind him.
His boss gives him one last assignment before he cuts him loose and gives him the restaurant of his dreams... the mission: bring back his son Travis (Seann William Scott). His father has pulled his son's butt out of a sling so many times, he is reeling him in to face the music.
Beck heads to South America to retrieve Travis in what he believes will be a quick grab and flight back to the U.S. Unbeknownst to Beck, Travis is seeking a priceless golden idol and a local slave driver (Christopher Walken) is keeping tabs on Travis so he can steal the treasure from him as soon as he finds it. Hatcher (Walken) runs a gold-mining operation, employing the local populous at disgustingly pitiful pay and slave-like hours and treatment. It's a real shanty-town, but filled with sophisticated cameras and other surveillance equipment and gun-toting thugs.
There is non-stop butt-kicking and far-out choreography through-out the film. So many scenes are so proposterous, it borders on insulting your intelligence, but things happen so fast and you get such a good laugh along the way, you really just sit back for the ride. There are a couple of scenes involving monkeys that are real gut-busters for laughs - but they used African baboons for these scenes - not animals you'd ever encounter in the western hemisphere. Anyone who watches the Discovery Channel even once in a while will roll their eyes at these scenes, but still laugh.
A local bar-keep named Mariana (Rosaria Dawson) adds an additional twist. Is she just a bar-keep, or is there something else going on... and how does she keep her hair looking so nice while running for her life in the middle of a humid rain forest?
Seann William Scott has proved that he is much more than the "Stifler" character in the "American Pie" series... he is a talented actor and can portray a range of characters and emotions. This film will probably be his launching pad into more serious roles in the future.
There is some language, but nothing beyond what you'd see on NYPD Blue on TV, limited in-your-face violence... just butt kicking, and no sex scenes - so the movie is fairly family-safe.
On the overall first-time-viewing enjoyment meter, I'd give this film 5 stars, but on the "would I ever want to see it again" meter, I give it half a star.
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on January 4, 2004
There is no such thing as a nice action hero. Good thing The Rock learned early and beat up a bunch of football players who gave him troubles. He even gave one of them a Rock Bottom through the floor! "The Rundown" is about a bounty hunter (The Rock) who has to find that noisy "American Pie" guy in South America. There he meets an evil tycoon man who likes free labor. Throughout the movie, Beck falls off a cliff, gets thrown into the air buy some jungle warriors and his privates are smashed on tree branches. He even has to avoid these monkeys trying to seduce him. Then towards the end, Beck picked up two shotguns and started blowing up the village! The genius director even put Rosario Dawson in the movie to make it that much better! This is one of the best action movies of 2003 and it even has Arnold Schwarzenegger in it! Yes! Passing the torch has never been so monumental! Excellent!
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on June 16, 2006
I enjoyed this movie on DVD and it is even better on HD DVD. Great picture quality with the lush jungle scenes and lots of bass in the soundtrack.

The movie is also very entertaining with lots of action and humor. The Rock plays a goon that has been sent to retrieve his bosses son played by Seann William Scott (a.k.a Stiffler from American Pie). The interaction between them is hilarious. The great Christopher Walken plays the bad guy and he is his classic self. His awesome dialogue (I wonder how much was ad-libbed?) and his pants pulled up to his drooping breasts add the finishing touches to this terrific movie. I think this is the Rock's best movie and a sequel must be made!
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on January 10, 2004
Unlike the nearly disastrous pairing of Eddie Murphy & Owen Wilson in the 2001 'thriller' "I Spy", Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson & Seann William Scott make a dynamite duo and work together like a well-oiled machine here, thus being the opposite of Murphy & Wilson. In "I Spy", those two totally lacked any chemistry and spontaneity together, adding friction to a relatively boring plot, whereas in "The Rundown", The Rock's and Seann's opposing quips and dialogue work together very well, yielding surprising results in the process. Beck (The Rock) is given orders to go to Brazil and bring back the son of a moderately well-to-do businessman (Scott). Once he is found, Travis refuses to go with Beck, and an ongoing series of melees ensues. Travis unwillingly "agrees" to remain in Beck's custody, all the while getting involved in a mysterious caper, headed up by an unscrupuolus leader of a band of Amazonian natives (Christopher Walken) and an Amazonian beauty (Rosario Dawson). What they're after, is a priceless ancient "trinket" known as "The Gato" - an artifact that's worth it's weight in gold. Our two male heroes are out to thwart Hatcher's (Walken) and "The Amazon Queen"'s (Dawson) plan, that is, if Beck and Travis don't wind up killing each other first, to which they come extremely close to doing during parts of their tumultuous journey. Here's "The Rundown" of some brief facts concerning this movie: The locale of the Brazilian landscape is actually substituted for the beautiful scenery and majestic greenery of the Hawaiian island of Oahu (for obvious budgetary reasons, as well as any avoidance of paying foreign taxes), and the Brazilian "natives" are actually local extras, who would physically pass as Brazilian/Portugese, since Hawaii has traces of Portugese ("Portagee" in local slang) heritage etched into its proud immigrant past. With a hearty, man-sized plot on its bountiful plate, including a rich, semi-all-star cast topping off the thick, zesty gravy (not to mention the well-manuevered, fast-paced action-packed physical adventure contained within these delectable ingredients), "The Rundown" is sure to please even the most persnickety of "cuisinards" - including both gourmet and standard fares. So, if you want to catch this breathtaking cinematic gem, here's "The Rundown"; you can either A) view it at your local venue (which has pretty much passed, for the most part), B) or you can wait until it is released on DVD or VHS, or...there's option C), which means, should you decide not to view "The Rundown", "The Rock" and his WWE cronies will be sent personally to your home, thus "Layin' The Smack Down" on your "candy a**" (which is so not likely to happen, and BTW, I'm only kidding!!!). With all that said, all that remains to be asked is "Can ya smell what The cookin?". In all sincerity, I think you can!
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on July 10, 2006
What Can I say. This is definately not Oscar Material but what it is, is a Damn Good Action/Popcorn Flick that has some Serious Eye Candy on HD DVD. If you want to see the Amazon Rainforest like it was on your bedroom window This movie will give you that thrill and entertain you in the process.
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on July 4, 2005
Man...this film had it all...action, an actual storyline that you could follow and eve more action. This is the second film that I have watched that THE ROCK has headlined, and I just absolutely loved them both!! If you are looking for something that will keep you interested and wanting more of the same...this is the movie for you!! Glad that I chose THE will too!!
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on March 22, 2015
This is really a fun movie to watch. I wasn't a fan of "The Rock" until I saw this movie. He really isn't a half bad actor. I thought he did a pretty good job. He was tough & he was funny. Watching "The Rock" & Seann William Scott go at it it throughout the movie was great. I don't recall seeing Seann in anything before either. These two guys made the movie. You can't forget Chris Walken & the beautiful Rosario Dawson. I'm glad they shot this in the 2:35:1 ratio rather than the somewhat common 1:85:1 which would have filled the screen, but you would have missed a lot of the picture. Not really a fan of 1:85:1 ratio aspect. I got this for under $10.00. I saw this at my buddy's house & ordered it the next day. The sound seemed fine to me but I listen through my stereo system & not one of those high end speaker systems they got today. The Special Features are really good too !! Overall this is an enjoyable movie, I think, & I would recommend this movie if you like action & comedy.
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