Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Walking Tall

Illustration for article titled Walking Tall

Walking Tall (2004)


• Remaking a perfectly fine '70s action plugger and removing most of the original context


• Casting The Rock as the brutish hero who goes ballistic because he gets cheated at a casino

• Feigning moral outrage as an excuse to have The Rock rip things apart with his bare hands and a heavy piece of wood

Defender: The Rock

Tone of commentary: Faux-badass. The Rock starts off by warning, "If you're looking for an arthouse commentary, I recommend you slip in Gosford Park, if you have it." He continually talks up how awesome he and his character are: "It's brutal, it's honest, and exactly what we wanted to capture. Takin' that piece of wood and kickin' fuckin' ass." But when he isn't growling into the microphone, he makes sure to praise the hard work of his personal makeup artist, Jeff Dawn. "I have a lot of traditional Samoan tattoos that are very meaningful, and Jeff did a great job covering them up."

What went wrong: Nothing, though he does grumble about the Vancouver hotel he stayed in when he first arrived. "I said, 'This is some day-old stale horseshit.' They must have had me confused with another Rock." The problem was solved when they moved him to a Super 8 "right next to a Tim Horton's."

Comments on the cast: The Rock calls everyone "my man," even when he can't remember their names. The sole exception is George Foreman, whom The Rock unfailingly introduces with a "ladies and gentlemen, the heavyweight champion of the world," every time he appears onscreen.


Inevitable dash of pretension: After a scene where The Rock stumbles across some kids doing crank, he gets somber. "As everyone knows, crystal meth is a problem we have here in the United States, and I'm glad we tackled the issue head-on."

Commentary in a nutshell: "It was an honor and a privilege to play a man with so much integrity and heart. And yes, picking up that big piece of wood and handing out all-day-long big, fresh, country ass-whuppins."