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THE RUNDOWN

The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, the wrestling star turned actor, gets a bigger vehicle with more credible co-stars here than he did in his dune adventures (The Mummy 2 and The Scorpion King). His Beck, a retrieval expert (a blend of bounty hunter and repo man), gets sent to the Amazon jungle to fetch his handlerís wayward son. Beck is a capable foot soldier who takes out an all-pro offensive line at a nightclub and has little need for firearms, but when he catches up to Travis Walker (Seann William Scott, a/k/a American Pies Stifler) in the balmy topics, itís his patience, not his brawn, thatís tested.

The Rock and Scott handle the comically combative buddy formula well enough to spark a few laughs. The lush mountaintop-hopping cinematography and the jackrabbit pacing by director Peter Berg also impress. The problem is the flatfooted plot, which pilfers from Raiders of the Lost Ark as it incorporates a gringo oppressor (Christopher Walken), a rebel leader (the sensual Rosario Dawson), and a coveted artifact that could swing the balance of power. Fortunately, thereís a troop of hump-happy monkeys to remind us that this is an action film with comedy. (104 minutes)


Issue Date: September 26 - October 2, 2003
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