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THE RUNDOWN

A bounty hunter takes off for the Amazon in pursuit of his boss’s runaway son, only to discover the kid had reason to run away. What to do? Pool resources with the lad and try to make a killing in the jungle.

CAST: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ewen Bremner, Nina Kaczorowski, Jon Gries, Arnold Schwarzenegger

DIRECTOR: Directed by Peter Berg

"With ‘The Rundown,’ the professional wrestler known as the Rock (real name: Dwayne Douglas Johnson) makes a formal announcement of his candidacy for the post recently abandoned by Arnold Schwarzenegger…The film is a strictly formulaic action picture that suggests some of Mr. Schwarzenegger's early, low-budget vehicles…The casting of Mr. Walken immediately relieves the screenwriters, R. J. Stewart and James Vanderbilt, of the burden of writing a character for him: he delivers his standard creepy, campy performance, punctuated by a few feral yelps. And Ms. Dawson is, as always, an extremely attractive presence…The director, Peter Berg, keeps the predictable story line on course without developing a truly compelling momentum in the action sequences or finding anything fresh in the interaction of the stock characters." --Dave Kehr, The New York Times

"Like the young Schwarzenegger, wrestler-turned-actor The Rock possesses a blockish charisma, jutting out from his surroundings like a human totem pole and having a deadpan chuckle at his own expense. Given his least loincloth-intensive role to date, he’s great fun to watch, whether trying to outmaneuver a wily martial-arts opponent or just a pack of horny baboons…‘The Rundown’ is a surprisingly airy, jungle-set adventure, boisterously winking at Huston, Peckinpah and the same Saturday-morning serials that birthed Indiana Jones." --Scott Foundas, LA Weekly

"Yeah, he's a big guy, but he's not a cartoon, like so many professional wrestlers… Take away the size and the muscles, and he's a handsome guy with lots of built-in charisma. But The Rock also turns out to be a pretty good actor… The Rock knows how to carry himself onscreen, how to relax when the situation demands (a talent Arnold Schwarzenegger has never quite mastered)…Best of all, though, is veteran scene-stealer Christopher Walken… Watching Walken is always a pleasure; thankfully, in ‘The Rundown,’ he's not the only pleasure." --Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun

"Everybody in ‘The Rundown’ has a great future in the movies except for Christopher Walken: He has a great past. And it's his great past -- that fabulous, offbeat way he has of tweaking a line, of bringing depths of counterintuitive irony and sarcasm to his roles -- that makes what might otherwise be a standard action programmer into something sublimely if wackily enjoyable…The movie will probably make a star of the Rock… it turns out that he has a supple face, a good sense of comic timing, an ability to suggest thought under the beautiful mug and a heart under the spectacular bod…It's possible that of all the smooth, baby-faced, pretty young actors around today, only Sean William Scott will survive…He's the only young American actor today with a sense of mischief or fun to him." --Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

"In its own good-natured, silly way, it works better than most of the year's other adventure-gutbusters…its action scenes are fresh and imaginative, it maintains an ingratiating tongue-in-cheek approach throughout, and its characters are funny and enjoyable, even the granitic star…Berg balances The Rock with a circle of likable supporting players (especially Walken) and he brings out a self-deprecating charm in his star that's nowhere to be found in ‘The Mummy Returns’ or ‘The Scorpion King.’" --William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"The Rock makes his bid to be the new Arnold in this comic bone-cruncher…He and Scott work up some nice comic chemistry, but it’s the dependably warped Walken who steals the most scenes. The frenetically edited fight sequences will satisfy the blood lust of the target audience." --David Ansen, Newsweek

"…a loud, inane adrenaline rush of a movie…For director Berg, ‘The Rundown’ marks a vast improvement over his first movie, 1998's equally hyperactive but morally childish ‘Very Bad Things’ -- even if most of the visual cues in ‘The Rundown’ and its juvenile infatuation with fisticuffs are taken from Tony Scott's productions for Jerry Bruckheimer…why should The Rock settle for Schwarzenegger's leftovers when he can already be seen playing terminator on TV? The Rock ought to expand his horizons and get himself a nice, quiet comedy." --Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

"The Rock brings the same instant physicality to the screen as Schwarzenegger, but he is better-looking and more athletic, and has the decided advantage of clear diction…In ‘The Rundown,’ he has to develop a character -- albeit one who's larger than life -- and he does it with a quietly engaging amiability…The fight sequences are brilliantly choreographed, shot and edited…The screenplay is laced with wit and sharp dialogue, and the supporting cast more than makes up for Johnson's inexperience and occasional stiffness. Scott moves from the ‘American Pie’ series to the action arena without giving up his likable goofiness, while Walken gives us another of his hilariously deadpan psycho villains." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"If ‘The Scorpion King’ was a mammoth hit despite being a pretty bad movie, ‘The Rundown,’ better in every way, should temporarily propel The Rock through the roof… ‘The Rundown’ has what we usually want to see in movies like this: bravura action, tongue-in-cheek humor, but most of all attitude -- precisely the quality Johnny Depp gave this summer's surprise action hit ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’" --Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

"‘The Rundown,’ like many recent action movies, is aggressively adolescent. It hearkens back to the time in a young man's life when humping monkeys were funny, when a promise didn't count if your fingers were crossed, when debating pointless hypothetical questions (‘Who would win a fight between Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali?’) held a fascination, and when professional wrestling offered endless, senseless entertainment." -- Michael Agger, Slate

"The Rock deserves better than ‘The Rundown,’ a brisk, good-hearted but predictable and uninspired -- not to mention bone-crunchingly violent -- action comedy. The handsome ‘wrestler’-become-action star turns out to have charm, screen presence and acting ability to rival Arnold Schwarzenegger…Most of the movie's laughs are thanks to Seann William Scott, who though buffed for his role, essentially plays his character as ‘American Pie's’ Stiffler, and to Christopher Walken, who can play demented, oddly articulate villains in his sleep." --Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post

"Option A: You can laugh off the Rock as an actor and any action flick that teams him with Seann William Scott. The Rock and Stiffler -- jeez. Option B: You can see the movie and have fun watching director Peter Berg energize a plot about a bounty hunter (the Rock) chasing his prey (Scott) in the Amazon. The Rock has a flair for action and comedy; he's a real movie star." --Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson exhibits more likable personality and star charisma than his Scorpion King incarnations have permitted, Seann William Scott adds a few brains to the old Stifler shtick, Rosario Dawson convincingly comes off Brazilian, and Christopher Walken gives a patently weird dissertation on the Tooth Fairy…There is much childish repartee between the two antagonistic protagonists, about a third of it actually funny, which is a pretty good average these days…Berg's corrosive attitude does add some distinctive juiciness to all the cartoonish mayhem." --Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News

"The Rock is a likely contender for the title of ‘next Arnold.’ He's big and strong and handsome and can even sort of act, or at least not get in the way of his lines. And he has the kind of movie-star charisma that passes for charm on the big screen, no matter what he may be like in real life…As the movie proceeds from fight to fight, you can almost feel your IQ diminish. But then Walken will walk in, stepping carefully like an arthritic in a minefield, and start talking absurdly about the tooth fairy, and it's hard not to laugh. You might think of 'The Rundown' as a combination of extreme wrestling and ‘Men Behaving Badly.’ In the jungle." --Harper Barnes, St. Lous Post-Dispatch