Walking Tall

The Rock in remake of seminal '73 revenge movie

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This new version of Phil Karlson’s ass-kicking classic starring Joe Don Baker, now re-tooled as a vehicle for wrestler-turned-action star The Rock, is inoffensive fun if you can banish the memory of the original. Back then, Baker starred as real-life Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser, who cleaned up his corrupt town with the aid of a big fuck-off plank of wood. Thirty-one years later, The Rock plays fictional Washington state sheriff Chris Vaughn and, apart from the hero’s sturdy slice of timber, any similarities are accidental. This is a fast-paced teen flick heavy on cartoon mayhem and light on the original’s dramatic power and wholesale bloodletting. It just about squeaks three stars because the fight scenes are efficiently assembled by director Kevin Bray. The Rock proves once again that, despite his unfortunate name, he has way more charisma than Schwarzenegger, while Band Of Brothers’ Neal McDonough is at his snide, unsympathetic best as the sneering casino boss-cum-villain.


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