Viewed on 23 OCT 03     How many times will Hollywood rewrap and remarket the same old used-up plot?  Answer: as many times as they can.  Said most simply, THE RUNDOWN, is another 'Buddy-Pic actioner' where the Hero is given "one last mission" before he'll be 'allowed' to retire.  Sound familiar?  It's rapidly becoming it's own sub-genre.  You see, Hollywood doesn't have to appeal to the intellect to make money when they can depend on the lowest common denominator being SO low that even if noticed, we won't care.  We're like small children watching an old Bambi video - we'll watch it every day until our VCR breaks.
Director Peter Berg also treated us to the most purile, least amusing, most tasteless, least comprehensible "penis humor" since Hollywood first repackaged the "kick-in-the-balls" as a 'humor schtick'.  Had there been only one such scene, this critic might have written it off as a token tossed out to "Gay Hollywood" elements.  (Oh, yes, I can say that...)  But there were four such scenes, each more reprehensible than the preceeding.  These scenes, however, did manage to elicit nervous giggles from some pre-teen viewers who were becoming mature enough to understand.   Whether I am the first, or only one of the many, I seriously recommend that Director Peter Berg voluntarily seek professional help - before before it seeks him...
Despite these dire shortcomings, THE RUNDOWN proved itself in the 'action' department.  The original use of updated special effects during the fight scenes was particularly effective.  It would not be prescient to say this kind of 'superaction' will be often imitated in future films.  There are two things you do not want to miss in this film: FIRST: Christopher Walken, as Hatcher, the demented mining town overlord.  He gives all these young pups acting lessons - if his agent would get him into a serious film, an Oscar would be his for the taking.  SECOND: The Governor of California does a brief walk-on.  Admittedly, it was even shorter than Lou Ferrigno's in The Hulk, but an excellent mini-cameo, nonetheless.  --And ten bucks to anyone who can tell me what Arnie actually said...or was he just passing the mantle to The Rock?
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