Returning to his home town after eight years in the Special Forces, Chris Vaughn (The Rock)finds that everything has changed. The lumbermill has shut down, and in its place a casino hasarisen, dispensing drugs and sin on all sides. Beaten and left for dead by casino hoods, Chrisfights back, eventually replacing the sheriff and cleaning up the town by cleaning clocks.
This remake is loosely inspired by the life of Sheriff Buford Pusser (who was actually a prowrestler…before he turned to law enforcement). The new version of the story is less dark, andmore interested in being entertaining than in being incendiary. Though hardly revolutionaryfilmmaking, Walking Tall is a lesson in swift pacing (subtract the credits, and the movieruns only 73 minutes), and makes the most of The Rock’s extremely engaging screen presence.There isn’t a single unexpected moment here, but sometimes, that doesn’t seem to matter. Thisis one of those times.
The 5.1 track is superb, with room-filling music and careful attention to the creation ofenvironmental effects, whether we are plunged into the brouhaha of the casino, or surrounded bythe gentle song of crickets in the scenes at Chris’ family’s house. There is no distortion on thedialogue.
The picture is equally good, with an extremely sharp image, and very strong contrasts. Thecolours are excitingly vibrant, and the flesh tones and blacks are beyond reproach. There is a tinybit of edge enhancement visible now and then (but you really have to look for it), and there is nograin. A fine transfer.
There are two commentary tracks here. One is by The Rock, who spends a great deal of timetelling us who fabulous everyone was, but does amuse himself with some of the film’sabsurdities. A more serious, behind-the-scenes take on the film is provided by director KevinBray and co-editor Robert Ivison. “Fight the Good Fight” is a promotional featurettemasquerading as a look at the fight scenes. There are four deleted scenes, an alternate ending(which is really just an alternate location for the happy ending pull-back that was finally used)and a very brief (though amusing) blooper reel. The photo gallery is divided into “On Set” and“The Rock: Special Shoot” sections. There’s a Species III promo featurette, the theatricaltrailer, and a handful of trailers for other MGM releases. The menu’s intro, main screen andtransitions are animated and scored.
Just about the perfect rental when you’re in the mood for an undemanding, quick andcompact action flick.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary by The Rock
- Director and Editor Commentary
- Stunts Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Alternate Ending
- Photo Gallery
- Species III Sneak Peak
- Theatrical Trailer and Bonus Trailers