Cork Screw Reviews – the reviews you never asked for about movies you’ve long forgot. Reviews that may or may not contain spoilers (spoiler alert: they will) but let’s face it, you should’ve watched these by now, anyway.
This week, Cathy and I are reviewing The Rundown (2003) starring The Rock, Sean William Scott and Rosario Dawson. Patrick has gone AWOL, in protest, we’re assuming, because Cathy and I didn’t watch Run Lola Run last week. We’ll update this post with his review – yes, we’re still holding on to hope. We miss him, is what we’re saying. Anyway, on with the show….
UPDATE: We have Patrick’s review.
Being unfamiliar with this week’s selection, “The Rundown”, when I heard the title, I pictured it as an autobiographical piece, starring Rodney Dangerfield, pulling his shirt collar saying, “The Rundown? Huh! Story of my life!” But wait! What’s this? Dwayne Johnson is in this movie? Well, colour me happy!
Johnson (aka “Beck”), is just an average guy, working as a “Retrieval Specialist” (because the term “Bounty Hunter” was trite, even 15 years ago), trying to complete a porcini mushroom recipe for his dream restaurant. In order to get said restaurant up and running, he needs money. He can get the money by doing “one last job” (famous last words!) for the guy he owes a lot of money to. He just has to bring home this man’s son from Brazil. Easy peasy.
The son, Travis, is played by Seann William Scott, who, naturally, doesn’t intend to make Beck’s “last job” very easy, at all. Through a series of unfortunate events, the unlikely pair end up in the Amazon Rainforest, looking for an ancient gold statue called El Gato Diablo (“Gato” for short) and more mishaps ensue. Let me just say that Beck is the best dressed Retrieval Specialist in the Brazilian jungle, hands down. Not even snare-traps or horny baboons can make this man look disheveled. Truly THIS is what makes the film memorable. This, or the Monty Python-esque fight scene between The Rock and Stiffler (for those over 40), as Travis tries to kick-fight his way out of the deal, bringing Thunder and Lightning (aka his feet) to the mix.
Since this is a “Corkscrew Review”, I played a little drinking game while watching The Rundown. Every time they said the word “Gato”, I had a sip of delicious red wine. Spoiler: they say it a LOT, so I don’t know if the 14% vino brought on hallucinations, but the sudden surprise of a man in a kilt, playing bagpipes, appearing out of nowhere, warmed the cockles of THIS Scottish woman’s heart! Not to mention Christopher Walkin’s spot-on impression of Amy Poehler’s SNL skit, during his Tooth Fairy speech:
Of course, everything works out in the end, and overall, I’d say that The Rundown was a fun little distraction for a Sunday afternoon.
I couldn’t get inspired by The Rundown. I liked it…but couldn’t rally behind it. The monkey scene was epic.
Let me preface this review by saying this movie is pure entertainment and I am a huge fan. I mean it has Christopher Walken in it. Christopher Fucking Walken. And now that I’ve said that, I’ll commence ripping into it in typical film review fashion.
The Rock plays the role of Beck, a giant dumb-dumb who only knows how to do two things; cook and fight. And he doesn’t have any time to cook shit in this movie.
Through a series of unwittingly bad life choices (I mentioned he’s a big dumb-dumb) Beck ends up working for a real asshole who is going to make him do one last job, and then Beck will have all the money he needs to start a restaurant. Nothing fancy, says Beck. Just 15 tables. Yeah, okay Beck. You’re gonna make a living off 15 tables and some shitty recipes you downloaded from a podcast. Whatevs.
This last job involves flying to Brazil, the last leg of the journey in a dodgy plane with a pilot who has a dodgy knee (so don’t bring him into this) to find the boss’s son, Travis (Sean William Scott). Travis doesn’t want to go home for two reasons; his dad is probably going to get him killed and also he’s looking for a gold cat (gato) that’s worth millions of dollars. Enter Mariana (Rosario Dawson), a barmaid by day and resistance fighter by night, and Cornelius Bernard Hatcher (Chistopher Fucking Walken), an evil douchebag who has basically enslaved an entire town and surrounding area to work in his mine. Travis wants the gato for the fame and because he’s carrying a grudge for getting kicked out of a fancy college, Mariana wants the gato to sell on the black market so she can free her people, and Beck just wants to get the hell out of Brazil before a Candiru swims up his pene and it has to get amputated. But he has to help the other two find the gato to do that.
The movie starts off on the right foot. After a short scene to establish that Beck likes cooking, it goes straight to Beck kicking the shit out of a football team at a club with Missy Elliot playing in the background.
Overall the writing is bad. The jokes, quips and one-liners are truly bad. With such “gems” as: “Let’s cancel Christmas”, “We’re in Brazil so around here we just call them nuts”, and, over and over, “I’ll give you two options…blah blah blah.” There’s also a bunch of shut ups and dirty looks instead of witty comebacks, which adds up to an unfortunate amount of lost opportunities. Also, “Go north until you reach the road, then go south until you reach the airfield.” What the actual fuck???
Beck in particular, doesn’t get any good lines (because he’s a big dumb-dumb). At least Travis gets some killer cracks in to redeem the rest of it – A little bit of thunder? A little bit of lightening? And his silly, perfectly timed noises and facial expressions make up for a lot. Hatcher also has a huge win when he’s trying to explain the concept of the tooth fairy to Brazilians through an interpreter. Fan-fucking-tastic! Even the pilot with the dodgy knee gets a couple of good ones in. That, combined with the fight scenes, make me not give a “flying fornication” about the bad writing. Boom shak a lak, indeed.
Now, onto the one burning question this movie left me with: Was Travis’s penis out the whole time that Beck was hanging from the tree? I bet it was. Which means Travis was surely yelling “Cacock cacock” instead of “Ca caw ca caw.” I’d like to think this is true, and yes, I do realize how lame I am.
Finally, this is not part of the review, more of an observation. The Rock is super hot, obvs. And yet, in virtually every movie he’s in, I crush on his co-stars instead of him. In The Rundown, it’s Sean William Scott (did you see him shirtless?) and Rosario Dawson (did you see her throughout the entire movie?). In the Scorpion King, it’s Kelly Hu and Michael Clarke Duncan. In Walking Tall it’s Johnny Knoxville. Maybe this is because The Rock is stuck with characters that are super one-dimensional. Or that he usually plays the straight man to his co-stars antics. Or maybe I’m just an oddball. Whatever, I don’t have the wherewithal to examine this any further so I’m ending with that.
Join us next week for our review of Chicago!