Review Date: March 27, 2004
Director: Kevin Bray
Writer: David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien, Brian Koppelman
Producers: Ashok Amritraj, Jim Burke, Lucas Foster, David Hoberman
It's the kind of movie in which you should find yourself rooting for The Rock and his perfectly cast deputy, played effectively by Johnny Knoxville, and feeling quite satisfied whenever one of their enemies gets their head kicked in. Unfortunately, the filmmakers didn't seem too interested in developing many of the secondary characters, introducing The Rock's sister as a possible pawn in the game early on, but oddly dropping her out of any of the happenings by the end (considering the film's short length, it makes you wonder). His parents were also given a few lines, but not enough to feel deeply about them, nor his girlfriend (although if there were awards given out to the "Best Shoot 'Em Up Girl in a Red Bra"-she'd win!) Then again, the film isn't really about developing a Byzantine plotline or characters, but about one man's plight to stand up against the "wrong" in the world, and that part of the story is well established. I felt The Rock's love for his small town and his pain from what it had become. I'm also happy to report that the man is a stronger actor than both Schwarzenegger and Stallone, and continues to look great shirtless! I don't normally want a film to be longer, but in this case, it was just way too short for a supposed all-out "Rock" movie, with its final confrontation and concluding moments feeling somewhat truncated as well. A few more obstacles would have been appreciated. So even though I enjoyed the film overall, its soundtrack, its fighting scenes, its bad guy and its ass-kicking, bubble-gum-chewing lead (he was out gum as soon as he stepped back in town), I'm still waiting for the best all-around Rock movie to be released and unfortunately, this is not it.