Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 2004. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Hyde Park Entertainment, Mandeville Films, Burke/Samples/Foster Productions, WWE Studios, Cub Eight Productions. Screenplay by David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien, Brian Koppelman, based on an earlier screenplay by Mort Briskin. Cinematography by Glen MacPherson. Produced by Ashok Amritraj, Jim Burke, Lucas Foster, David Hoberman, Paul Schiff. Music by Graeme Revell. Production Design by Brent Thomas. Costume Design by Gersha Phillips. Film Editing by George Bowers, Robert Ivison.
Wrestler turned movie star The Rock (here billed under his pseudonym and not the “Dwayne Johnson” of later films) gets out of the army and goes back to his home town in search of his former life. What he finds is his sleepy community turned into a town of terrified people living under the thumb of a casino owner (Neal McDonough) who has the corrupt police in his pocket. Rather than let karma take its lengthy course, our musclebound hero grabs a giant plank and starts swinging it towards anyone willing to get in his way, dropping some kickass vigilante action that fills the next 80-odd minutes of this fun action film. It’s sort of like a really dumb version of First Blood (and yes, I know exactly what that means), loosely remade from the 1973 film of the same name and featuring the kind of ridiculous car-crunching, bone-snapping violent Americana that monster truck enthusiasts will go absolutely wild over. It’s also pointless and over way too soon to be effective, but God help me if I wasn’t having a great time watching it.