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the Rundown: a Review
by michelle (guest writer)   October 6, 2003
rock, dwayne, johnson

The lights go down.

The Rock is listening to Emeril talk on the radio about porcini mushrooms. He takes out a little notebook and starts to write it down. Ok, I'll buy that. He wants to be a chef, or he likes gourmet food. Whatever. So far so good.

The bouncer or some other type of guy presumably employed by the bar that The Rock's car is parked outside of lets him know that he can come in now and that he is lucky to get in at all since the private party inside has the whole place packed. Bar guy points out The Rock's primary thug. Maybe The Rock is a bounty hunter. We spend a couple minutes learning more about some fictional football players than is strictly necessary. The movie is starting to lose me as I am already trying to figure out how the plot is going to get from this bar to the jungle where some small Brazilian guys are going to kick The Rock's ass. ("Those guys fight hard.")

He's going in. I sit up slightly in my seat, handing my husband the bag of popcorn, cued by the soundtrack to the possibility for some action.

The Rock and the primary thug/NFL hotshot miscommunicate. Turns out The Rock is an enforcer for a bookie (more believable than the chef thing, more criminal than the bounty hunter idea) and primary thug owes some serious green. Funny but menacing dialogue. Oh no, a drink is thrown in The Rock's face. What will he do?

What the fuck? He walks away. He calls the bookie. "Don't make me do this tonight. They have a serious shot at the playoffs and I don't want to take them out." (I apologize for the paraphrasing.) First big laugh of the night. The bookie tells The Rock to get his ass back in there.

The Rock is ready for business. We can tell this by the knuckle-cracking and muscle-twitching. So far I am not impressed, but I am excited by the prospect of some action.

The Rock heads back to primary thug. Secondary thugs get the action started. The Rock immediately puts down about half a dozen NFLers and gets what he came for from primary thug (his Super Bowl ring for collateral). My recap of this scene does it so little justice that I am ashamed. All I can tell you is that I am enthralled, captivated if you will. Aroused? A touch. I lean over to my husband and whisper, "I am a little hot for The Rock."

Why is this important you ask? Why did she waste so much on the opening sequence? How the hell long is this review going to be?

Well, that is pretty much it. Once I was entranced by The Rock, I cared little for plot, character development, acting abilities (The Rock's are much better than I would have given him credit for.), cinematography or any of that other nonsense.

For the cry babies who want more: The Rock has to find the bookie's son in the Amazon in order to end his indebtedness to the bookie and make enough money to open his own little 10-15 table restaurant. (He was attacked outside the bar by a rival enforcer who stole the Super Bowl ring and the bookie was mildly displeased about it.) The son (Sean William Scott) doesn't want to go home, he only wants to find El Gato (some mythical golden artifact). We are supposed to buy the fact that Stiffler is a Ph.D. candidate. Christopher Walken is a creepy overlord who doesn't want El Gato found lest his minions rise up and revolt. Rosario Dawson adds some window dressing as they run through the jungle, shoot things and fight people. Aw, everything works out fine in the end. Oh yeah, there is some crazy hallucinogenic fruit and an Irishman with an accent so think that you will be reminded of Brad Pitt in Snatch except that this guy is fugly.

I greatly enjoyed The Rundown. It made me laugh. It had moments of clever dialogue. It had twists and turns so mild that you don't have to be 48" tall to ride them. But, in the end, I didn't mind that I had paid $8.50 to see it. And, for those of you who aren't familiar with my rating system, that means me likey.

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