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|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E||
dir Kevin Bray|
scr David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien, Brian Koppelman
with The Rock, Johnny Knoxville, Neal McDonough, Ashley Scott, Kristen Wilson, Khleo Thomas, John Beasley, Barbara Tarbuck, Michael Bowen, Kevin Durand, Andrew Tarbet, John Stewart
release US 2.Apr.04; UK 9.Jul.04
Let's get ready to rumble: Rock and Knoxville in the huddle.
Click for: THE TRAILER
It's not a bad story at all, but the filmmakers strip it of any meaning or purpose. The film is merely a series of set-piece montages: reunion football match, pole dancing, casino brawl, torture (human), courtroom, torture (vehicular), soft-focus sex, mega gunplay, showdown in abandoned mill. That's the entire movie ... and half of these scenes are unnecessary! The Rock struts through it all manfully, removing his shirt to flex his massive muscles before getting down to business. He and the cast are extremely watchable, but each character is wafer thin. The filmmakers are so finely focussed on scenes of one man cleaning up small town corruption that they never bother to dig under the surface. And that surface is pretty vile, with nasty grisliness that makes it impossible for us to cheer for the good guys. Blame Bray, whose colourful and kinetic style tries to mask his incoherent direction and strongly misogynistic streak. Besides Chris' ex-hooker girlfriend (Scott), the cast list includes one Exotic Beauty, a Dollar Bill Girl, a Girl on Platform, two Casino Trashy Women and Wet T-Shirt Girls, and three Lap Dancers. This is obviously where his interest lies, rather than telling a meaningful story.
|Laurie T, Minneapolis: "Okay, I was in the mood for a light movie - one that would not make me think too much, and a bit of eye candy. This movie is predictable - completely - and not even that good. However, I will say I was entertained for a couple hours, and we had a couple laughs. The Rock plays a good hero to the bad guys who took over his town." (12.Apr.04)|
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