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A Macho Vigilante Remake With Wood Planks and Man Tits

Roid rage: The Rock
photo: MGM/UA

A ridiculous macho slugfest attempting to reassert the '80s-style roid-raging revenge narrative (e.g., Commando, Rambo III), peppered with a dash of Charles Bronson vigilante justice, Walking Tall repackages the somehow-based-on-a-true-story kernel of its 1973 backwoods-cheapie antecedent as a glossy, noisy (man) tits-and-ammo walk-through. Soldier Chris Vaughn (the Rock) returns to his hometown to find that an Aryan rich kid (all-but-mustache-twirling Neal McDonaugh) has shut down the mill and forced everyone to work for his drug-peddling whorehouse-cum-casino. After a mauling by hired goons, Vaughn is tried, acquitted, and elected sheriff, then sets forth cleaning up the town with his trademark plank of cedar and the aid of a comic-relief best buddy (Johnny Knoxville). In between smackdowns and gunfire, the plot is so absurdly perfunctory that preview audiences snickered at its TV-drama slapdashness; the producers should have pushed the straight-camp potential much further and retitled this weak bruiser Sporting Wood.


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