Walking Tall

This movie thinks it’s Walking Tall, but it ain’t no Walking Tall! The original film, starring Joe Don Baker as Sheriff Buford T. Pusser, was a good-bad exploitation flick based on Pusser’s real life exploits cleaning up a dirty town with a big piece of wood. This new film with the same name stars The Rock, and he does indeed hit a few people with a big piece of wood, but that’s about all the two films have in common. The Rock plays Chris Vaughn, newly returned from military service and looking for a job in his hometown. When he finds out a former friend has turned the town into a gambling haven, he starts busting heads in a style that garners a boring PG-13 rating. The Rock can be a lot of fun, and costar Johnny Knoxville deserves a long film career, but this film is beneath them. The damned thing is only 88 minutes long, and it cops out with a happy ending. In the original, everybody other than Pusser got shot up, blown up and screwed up. The original also had pop superstar and teen idol Leif Garrett, whose presence is sorely missed.

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