The Rundown
2 out of 5 starsaka:Welcome to the Jungle
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Welcome to the Jungle This is one of those loud, stupid action comedies that's almost enjoyable despite itself. Beck (The Rock) is a bounty hunter who can get his hands on anything or anyone and refuses to take no for an answer. But what he really wants to do is open a restaurant, and this One Last Job is his way out of the criminal underworld. The trick is that his target is the hot-headed Travis (Scott), who's on the trail of a priceless artefact in the jungles of Brazil, where the quirky expat Hatcher (Walken) runs a hellish gold mine. Before taking Travis back home, Beck agrees to help him and his feisty local girlfriend (Dawson) find the trinket and get even with Hatcher. As you do.

No the preposterous plot doesn't make a bit of sense. Not a single character behaves with any logic at all, but at least they're colourful and energetic enough to keep our interest. The film also looks all wrong; if you know anything about the Amazon (I grew up in South America so I have firsthand experience) you can immediately tell that not a single frame of film was shot there. It's quite obviously Los Angeles and Hawaii, which the credits confirmed. In other words, this film is utterly fake on every level! That said, The Rock proves that he's a decent action hero and Scott is, as usual, a funny comic foil. It's up to the gifted Dawson and bizarre Walken to add a bit more depth and interest. At least both the script and direction have a warped and vicious sense of humour, which isn't a surprise from the director of Very Bad Things. Some of the digital effects are badly overdone and the fight choreography is, frankly, insane ("spinning Tarzan jujitsu!"). But it's still rather good fun, in a deeply annoying sort of way.

cert 12 themes, language, violence, innuendo 9.Oct.03

dir Peter Berg
scr RJ Stewart, James Vanderbilt
with The Rock, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ewen Bremner, Ernie Reyes Jr, William Lucking, Stuart Wilson, Jon Gries, Dennis Keiffer, Garrett Warren, Arnold Schwarzenegger
release US 26.Sep.03; UK 26.Mar.04
Columbia-Universal
03/US 1h44

The Road to Helldorado: The Rock, Dawson and Scott.

walken bremner arnie has a cameo
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send your review to Shadows... The Rundown Laurie T, Minneapolis: "This movie looked silly - and it was. It also looked like it would be entertaining, make us laugh and just have some fun for a couple of hours - and it did. Go see it if you need some good laughs. Laughter is good for the soul, so this movie should be good for your soul. Okay, maybe it's not that good. But it should make you laugh." (1.Oct.03)
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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