I'm sure "'Midnight Run' meets 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'" sounded great being pitched by a trembling Hollywood sycophant, but the resulting movie, "The Rundown," plays like a collection of deleted scenes on another film's DVD.
The mob sends Beck (The Rock) to retrieve Travis (Seann William Scott) from a Brazilian mining town. Plans change when Beck meets rebellious bartender Mariana (Rosario Dawson), learns about the mysterious idol Travis is pursuing, and is chased about by the town's evil kingpin, Hatcher (Christopher Walken). I don't know who's holding a gun to Walken's head when he chooses his scripts, but after this and his role in "Kangaroo Jack," it's time for his friends (if he has any left) to host an intervention.
The action sequences cut so fast it's impossible to focus on a single image. Epileptics should not see this movie -- the effect is akin to staring into a strobe light for two hours. I lost any track of the plot, along with significant swaths of my long-term memory, and had the sudden urge to assassinate a foreign diplomat.
The "action" consists of The Rock falling off cliffs, having logs smashed across his huge noggin, and getting nearly shot about 1,000 times. The only thing that makes his character mildly interesting is that he eschews the use of guns. However, in a pivotal moment toward the end, he abandons this single principle, grabs two guns and kills lots of people. This, my friends, is what character development has come to.
Prepare to be run down by "The Rundown."
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