The Rundown, known internationally as Welcome To The Jungle, was former wrestler Dawyne Johnson’s (aka The Rock) second attempt at a leading role following The Scorpion King in 2002. The action/comedy was directed by Michael Mann protégé Peter Berg (Hancock) and co-written by R.J. Stewart (Xena: Warrior Princess) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac). Rounding up the cast are Seann William Scott (American Pie‘s Steve Stifler), Rosario Dawson (Sin City) and Christopher Walken (Hairspray).
Johnson stars as Beck, a “retrieval expert” on his last job, who’s sent to the Brasilian mining town El Dorado to find his Boss’ son Travis (Scott) and bring him back to the States. Once there however, he runs into trouble with the local “authorities”, headed by evil, greedy mine boss Hatcher (Walken) and has to deal with the annoying Travis, Indian rebels, a treasure hunt and monkeys…don’t forget the monkeys. Trailer and review after the jump.
Simpy put, this is required watching if you’re an action fan. Fight coordinator Andy Cheng (M:I:III) delivers some of the most insane action scenes I’ve ever seen, and the movie is simply shock-full of them. The movie is also quite hilarious, in part thanks to Scott and the great chemistry he enjoys with Johnson, but also thanks to a few memorable monologues from Walken and once again the action scenes (did I mention they’re insane?). Also, an Arnold Schwarzenegger cameo (automatic awesome).
Dwayne Johnson, who has since proven his diversity with films such as Get Smart and Southland Tales, is a very charismatic and talented actor and The Rundown remains his best full-blown action film, at least in my mind. Peter Berg is a very talented and versatile director (don’t let Hancock fool you), and he makes he most out of this film, which I consider to be one of his best (if not the best). He keeps the movie going at a frantic pace with inventive visuals, good humor and amazing nonstop action (that happens to be insane).
Unfortunately, despite being a critical success, the movie was a financial flop, failing to recoup its 85 million dollar budget. Still, in an interview given to Comingsoon.net a year ago, Peter Berg expressed interest in a possible sequel (yes, Peter, please!). However, Berg has currently three projects in the pipeline, so don’t expect that movie anytime soon.