I re-watched The Rundown a few weeks back when it came on TV randomly. As a result I ditched my plans for that night (boo hoo me) and got lost in an epic adventure I’d nearly forgotten.
It’s the ultimate popcorn movie of the early 2000’s. Many say that The Scorpion King (2002) was Dwayne Johnson’s breakout movie; and those many often agree that his role in Be Cool (2005) 3 years later, where he basically played a version of himself (so meta), solidified Johnson’s presence in Hollywood, breaking his mould as the mere mortal Rock from WWE/F and making him an actual movie star.
But many people forget that epic flick that was nested just in between these two big roles, in 2003: The Rundown, where he played the role of Beck, extraction expert, along with the goofy, yet very relevant (at the time) Seann William Scoot – seriously though, what happened to that guy?
Let’s also not forget that this film has Academy Award Winner Christopher Walken as well. I digress, and actors aside, let’s focus on the actual movie now.
I posted that I was watching the movie on Facebook, and got quite a bit of likes and comments. No, I’m not bragging about my popularity on social media, I was just taken aback by the fact that so many other people enjoyed the movie as much as I did. I thought I was the only one, and this was one of those movies I would have to like in secret or something (not that I do that, but you get what I mean, right?).
So, why was The Rundown so epic? I have a few theories about this.
Firstly, this kind of movie was a bit of a big deal at the time. What I mean by “this kind of movie” is an adventure/ mystery, sometimes with a dash of comedy, and definitely with a sacred treasure at the center of the plot.
With films like Tomb Raider, National Treasure and even Pirates of the Caribbean debuting within range, The Rundown was able to be relevant enough to make its mark. And as I mentioned above, the cast was pretty damn relevant at the time too.
It’s got caction *not a typo
Relevance isn’t enough to make a movie great. It’s got Caction. That’s not a real word, but it’s one I used to describe a perfect balance of comedy and action. The unbelievable fight scene between Beck and the rebels is one I’ve remembered for years because of how well it was shot, and how much character the scene has.
The start-of-the-end scene with the bagpipes and cattle stampede was another one I’ll remember for years to come. I mean, who comes up with that? Then there was the monkey scene, the bar fight…
All of these bits and pieces have just the right balance of humour and action. I could go on and on with examples, but I think you get the point. Hats off to writer R.J. Stewart, who unfortunately hasn’t done much writing since this movie.
You saw the end coming, but you didn’t care
Let’s face it, we knew by watching the trailer that when Beck set out to find Travis, the two of them were going to bond on their little adventure, and this would change the entire original plan. But what we got along the way were a bunch of unexpectedly awesome and memorable characters.
Walker is memorable. Hatcher, reminiscent of Walker in his tyrannical nature, too was memorable. The fine Mariana was oh so memorable. Declan (the pilot) had 2 scenes (the arrival and the scene mentioned above) which were both memorable as hell. Do you see the trend here?
What I’m getting at is that you saw the end- it wasn’t exactly hard to discern- but you still appreciated the journey this film took you on, and that’s why you’ll probably watch it again. I know I will.
About the Author: Stephen is co-founder of BTG Lifestyle. Filmmaker, film critic, marketer, gentleman and scholar.