“The Rundown” is a likeable action movie with an almost-loveable star, World Wrestling Entertainment’s The Rock as Beck, an enforcer for a nasty bad guy named Walker.
We first meet Beck in an entertaining nightclub brawl when he takes on a football team’s entire offensive line to get some collateral on a gambling debt. His next assignment, the action-movie staple last big job that will free him and give him the stake to realize his dream (a restaurant), is to retrieve Walker’s son Travis (American Pie’s Seann William Scott) who is off seeking treasure in Brazil.
Beck and Travis end up on an Indiana Jones-style quest for a golden idol, fighting both sides in a local rebellion and fending off a pack of amorous monkeys. Christopher Walken brings his usual weird vibe to the role of Hatcher, local oppressor.
Director Peter Berg (best known as an actor on “Chicago Hope”) keeps things moving briskly and knows how to show off the Rock’s charm as well as his expertise at throwing people around. Berg does not do much with the talented Scott or the beautiful and talented Rosario Dawson (The 25th Hour) who is saddled with a dreary spunky-girl role and an even drearier accent. Co-produced by the WWE’s Vince McMahon, it has no aspirations for subtlety or wit, but it’s mildly entertaining and, like its heroes, manages to avoid most of the obvious pitfalls.
Parents should know that the movie has a lot of “action violence” (non-graphic). Beck makes it clear that he does not like guns because he believes he does too much damage with them. He does end up using guns and doing a lot of damage. There is a mild sexual reference and a few bad words. Characters drink and smoke and ingest an hallucinogenic fruit.
Families who see this movie should talk about why Beck does not like guns.
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy The Rock’s The Scorpion King.