“The Rundown” was directed by Peter Berg, who also did “Friday Night Lights”, “The Kingdom” & “Deepwater Horizon”. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Sean William Scott, Rosario Dawson & Christopher Walken. The film was written by James Vanderbilt, who also wrote “Zodiac”, “White House Down” & the 2 “Amazing Spider Man” films. Vanderbilt original title was “Helldorado” before it was eventually changed to The Rundown.
A bounty hunter who collects debts, Beck (Johnson), is sent to the Amazon in Brazil to bring back the son of his mob boss in order leave his life of crime behind. Beck meets the kid, Travis Walker (Scott) at bar & soon lured into Travis’ quest to find a mysterious artifact known as “El Gato de Diablo” (The Devil’s Cat). However, it also turns bad as both men are caught between the tyrannical madman, Hatcher (Walken) who runs a mining town & the people who work and live there. Beck agrees to stay out of Hatcher way only he can take Travis back home to L.A., but Hatcher soon finds out about Travis’ quest & must find the artifact before Travis does. With the help from a rebellious woman, Mariana (Dawson), they must travel the jungle to find the artifact but Hatcher & his men find them.
This was one Johnson earliest films while was still under contract with the WWE & still being known as The Rock. The film was based on several other adventure films and has some callbacks like “Indiana Jones” & “They Live”. Johnson’s performance was solid and really is a tribute to his wrestling persona. This was generic storyline but with the good performances from the main cast. Johnson & Scott are good together, Walken is a charismetic villian & Dawson really holds her own among the rest of the cast. Some aspects of the movie are cliche but it fine cause the movie is all around entertaining.
Overall, this movie was a solid outing in The Rock’s early movie career. He best work was still to come, as was Peter Berg’s. While The Rock would return to the ring in the summer of 2002, he would also keep his movie career alive with 2004’s “Walking Tall” & 2006’s “Gridiron Gang” before leaving the WWE altogther in 2004 but still making special appereances throughout the years. Peter Berg would go on to direct other action comedy like 2008’s “Hancock”, his award winning films like alongside Mark Walhberg, “Lone Survivor”, “Patriots Day” & the afromentioned “Deepwater Horizon”. Rosario Dwason would go on to star in other films such as “Men In Black 2”, “Sin City” & the film adaptation of the Broadway musical, “Rent”.