This continues the on-going saga of untimely reviews of 2 star movies, movies that lead critics to give us ambivalent ratings that offer little to no help when we are looking for something decent to watch but cannot stomach another coming of age story.
Some 2 star movies are very close to being 3 star movies, and "The Rundown" is one of them. Knowing the background of the stars of "The Rundown" may lead to the conclusion that this movie could never exceed a mediocre rating: "The Rock" is an ex-professional wrestler, and Sean William Scott is an ex-eater of bodily production from the "American Pie" series of films. It is important, however, to understand two things, "The Rock" is actually a good actor and Sean William Scott is a pretty funny guy. The only problem with these guys is that they end up in some pretty crappy movies such as "The Scorpion King" and "Bulletproof Monk". "The Rundown" could have been their golden chance to be in a kick-ass awesome movie that breaks the mold. Spoiler alert: It wasn't.
The movie is about a really bad-ass mob enforcer named Beck who has to find his boss's son, Sean William Scott, in the jungles of the Amazon rainforest. Beck is played by "The Rock", and "The Rock"'s immense proportions and convincing sneer lend a lot of credence to Beck. Christopher Walken owns the local gold mine and refuses to let Beck take Sean William Scott out of the jungle because Sean William Scott knows the location of an ancient golden statue in the shape of a cat. Violence and humor ensue.
This would be a great moment to put in a favorite movie review cliché, using the title of the film to berate it. Witty examples could include: "The 'Rundown' ran down", "Run from 'The Rundown'", or "'The Rundown' runs down the careers of 'The Rock' and 'Sean William Scott' like a chipmunk under an SUV'". But instead of raining down a pooh-pooh parade, I instead provide the following helpful suggestions that would improve this film, had the film not been completed three years ago.
· Change to title to something other than "The Rundown".
· Lose anything that seems like a mission the "A-team" would take.
· Delete all scenes relating to a golden cat.
· Let Sean William Scott be funnier. There is a slight difference between a funny guy who acts like a dick and is nevertheless funny and a funny guy who acts like a dick.
· Give Beck a little more motivation to give up his anti-gun credo and turn into a killing machine.
Let me explain my distaste of the gold cat subplot, the bad guys own a gold mine, a literal gold mine. Like a leprachan, the owner of the mine is constantly worried about people stealing his gold. This movie would have been so much simpler if the plot device was just about stealing gold.
Maybe the morale of this untimely review is that simpler is better. Or maybe it is that bad titles further taint already mediocre movies. The point is that this 2 star movie is a 3 star movie in a thick and irremovable disguise. Look past the facade of a crappy movie and you can enjoy this film.
"The Rock" clearly has a huge potential as an action movie star. He could even be bigger than Arnold, who has a cameo in "The Rundown". All "The Rock" needs is the right movie. How about "Conan Returns: as The Rock" or "Terminator 4: Heavy Metal versus The Rock"? It worked for Arnold.
Tagged: untimely reviews