Walking Tall (2004)


run time: 86 mins
rated: 14A
considered: Action, Crime
starring: Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Ashley Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Neal McDonough, Michael Bowen, John Beasley, Kristen Wilson, Kevin Durand

movie summary: Chris Vaughn (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson) is a U.S. Army Ranger who returns to his home town only to find it is not like it used to be. The sawmill his father worked his whole life at is now closed, while the town’s biggest attraction is now a casino run by crooked guy Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough). Chris goes home to greet his parents and sister who is now a paramedic. His nephew has been hanging out with the wrong crowd while trying drugs on a regular basis.

After settling in he meets up with his best friend Ray Templeton (Johnny Knoxville) and together they round-up the old crew to play some football. Hamilton shows up with some of his guys lead by Booth (Kevin Durand) and take Chris out with a cheap blind side hit. The guys shake hands, but Chris now realizes times have changed and these are the guys who now run the town. Later that night Ray organizes a party for Chris at the casino where he gets a striptease show by a very cute girl name Deni (Ashley Scott), who happen to be his high school sweetheart. After this awkward encounter Chris returns to the craps table where he realizes the dice is loaded and the dealer is scamming everyone. After confronting the dealer, security steps in to remove him from the casino before all hell breaks out. Chris fights off five tough looking security guards before being knocked out. When he wakes up he is in the back room getting tortured by Booth and his buddies, before they drop him off at the hospital with massive injuries.

Over the next few weeks Chris sits at home with Ray to recover from the injuries, Jay tries to make amends by offering Chris a job as head of security. One day his nephew is found passed out from a drug overdose which forces Chris to take matters into his own hands. He drives to the casino where he proceeds to beat up the whole security team, vandalize many gambling machines, and destroy the mirror glass of Jay’s office to send him a message. Chris is soon arrested and is forced to stand trial in front of a jury. He decides to defend himself and when he pleads his case to the jurors, rips off his shirt to show the injuries that Booth and his buddies caused. He vows if the charges are dropped and he is set free that he will run for Sheriff and clean up the town. The next day the jury acquits him of all charges which pissed Jay and Booth off when they leave the courtroom.

Chris wins the election for Sheriff and fires the whole police squad. He recruits Ray to be his deputy and together the pair begin to tackle the drug dealers in town. They arrest Booth to interrogate him and find out where Jay produces his drugs, but he doesn’t crack. They take apart his precious truck piece by piece before throwing him in a slammer for the night. Ray heads over to Chris’ house to protect his family while Chris stays at the station with Booth, by morning Jay has sent his guys to blow up Chris’ truck and shoot up the police station. Booth is killed during the gunfight while Chris manages to take everyone out one at a time. Over at Chris’ house, another group of masked men abduct his family while Ray is asleep on the couch. Bullets fly all around the house while the men are taken out before Chris arrives to make sure everyone is ok.

After cleaning up the mess, Chris and Ray plan their attack on Jay at the Casino, except when they get there he is nowhere to be found. Chris realizes Jay is at the old sawmill, the site of his drug operation, so heads over there to finish the job.


my thoughts: I remember the first time I saw this movie, it was with my grandmother who loved all the violence in this movie. It has a lot of ass-kicking moments because no one can lay the smack down like the Rock can. He is a more famous actor today then he was back in 2004 and probably would have never been cast in such a role, but this was a decent flick on his journey to superstardom.

The movie is short at 86 minutes, but once the Rock decides to take matters into his own hands, there is like 70 minutes of property destruction, gun battles, and fighting. In between those moments this movie is simply a story about doing the right thing and good overcoming evil. Everyone will be able to figure out the ending because the main star is destined to come out on top and be the winner.

Walking Tall is a decent action flick that won’t take up much of your time should you decide to sit down and watch it. People who like ass kicking get to the point movies should grab some popcorn and enjoy the Rock doing what he does best.

my star rating: 7 out 10

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