Walking Tall (2004 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Walking Tall
Walking Tall (2004 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kevin Bray
Produced by Ashok Amritraj
Jim Burke
Paul Schiff
Lucas Foster
Written by David Klass
Channing Gibson
David Levien
Brian Koppelman
Mort Briskin (1973 screenplay)
Starring The Rock
Johnny Knoxville
Neal McDonough
Kristen Wilson
Kevin Durand
Ashley Scott
Michael Bowen
Mike Dopud
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Glen MacPherson
Edited by George Bowers
Production
company
Hyde Park Entertainment
Mandeville Films
Burke/Samples/Foster Productions
WWE Films
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • April 2, 2004 (2004-04-02)
(United States)
Running time 86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $46,000,000
Box office Domestic:
$46,437,717
Worldwide:
$57,223,890

Walking Tall is a 2004 action drama film. A remake of the 1973 film of the same name, it stars The Rock and Johnny Knoxville. Like the original film, it was based on the real-life story of Sheriff Buford Pusser and utilized many elements from his life. A number of aspects were changed, including the main character's name (to "Chris Vaughn") and the setting was moved from McNairy County, Tennessee to Kitsap County, Washington, United States.

Plot[edit]

Former U.S. Army Special Forces sergeant Chris Vaughn (The Rock) returns to his small home town (Kitsap, Washington). Looking for work, he finds the local cedar mill was closed down three years prior by its heir, Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough), who opened a new casino that now accounts for the majority of revenue for the local area. Hamilton, who is also Vaughn's school friend, invites him to a night of fun at the casino. While checking out the VIP lounge, Vaughn stumbles upon his childhood friend Deni (Ashley Scott), who is now working as a stripper. Later, he notices the craps dealer use loaded dice and demonstrates this to the patrons by placing a bet and calling out the roll before throwing the dice. When the floorman declares no payout, Vaughn instigates a fight and is subsequently subdued with a taser and knocked unconscious. The security staff take Vaughn into the basement and Hamilton's right-hand man and head of security Booth (Kevin Durand) tortures him by cutting his torso with a Utility knife before dumping him on a roadside. He is found by a trucker and hospitalized, but recovers quickly.

Vaughn goes to the Sheriff (Michael Bowen) to press charges against the guards, but the Sheriff refuses to allow him to do so because the casino is viewed as too important to the town's economy, stating that because of its position, the casino is considered a "no fly zone". After this, Vaughn also learns that his nephew, Pete (Khleo Thomas), experimented with crystal meth, which was sold to his friends by casino security guards. Infuriated, Vaughn goes to the casino, and using a piece of lumber as a club, begins destroying casino property, and brutally beats the security guards when they attempt to stop him. Vaughn is apprehended by the Sheriff and his deputies as he is driving away from the scene.

In the ensuing trial, all of Hamilton's security and staff testify against Vaughn. When the judge allows Vaughn to present his defense, he fires his appointed attorney, who is implicitly under Hamilton's employ. After making a civic speech about the town's great former self, Vaughn tells the jury and the rest of the town that if he's cleared of the charges, he will run for sheriff and clean up the town. To further emphasize his plea, Vaughn reveals the grotesque scars on his torso from his being tortured by the casino staff. He is then acquitted and wins the election for sheriff. Upon taking office, he summarily dismisses the entire police force and deputizes his friend, Ray Templeton (Johnny Knoxville), whom Vaughn feels he can trust, as well as help Vaughn learn about narcotics (Templeton revealed earlier that he served time in prison after becoming a drug addict).

Vaughn and Templeton find drugs on Booth and they take him into custody. In an attempt to make him reveal information on the town drug operation, they hold him captive in a garage and proceed to strip his truck into pieces in front of him, but he does not talk. Vaughn assigns Templeton to stand watch over his house, as he knows Hamilton will likely target his family. Vaughn himself remains at the sheriff's office to supervise Booth. He is visited by Deni, stopping by under the pretense of bringing him food and reveals that she quit her job as the casino stripper. The two end up spending the night together in the office. The next morning, the former sheriff and his deputies arrive at the Sheriff's office where they blow up Vaughn's truck and fire upon the building with machine guns. Recognizing his dangerous predicament, Booth pleads for Vaughn to let him out of his cell, prompting Vaughn to use Booth's perilous situation as leverage for information. Booth reveals that the old mill is where the drugs are being produced, but is immediately killed by the indiscriminate fire of the attackers. Vaughn manages to kill all of the attackers with Deni's help.

Vaughn's parents' house is attacked, but Templeton and Vaughn's father are able to dispatch the gunmen. After ensuring their safety, Vaughn heads for the mill where he discovers a meth lab as well as Hamilton, calmly waiting in a control room. Hamilton attempts to kill Vaughn with the mill equipment by dropping him through a trap door, but Vaughn drags Hamilton down with him and the two fall through a chute. Vaughn, whose leg is injured, manages to tend to his injury in a nearby forest before Hamilton attacks him with an axe. The two fight for their lives, with Vaughn ultimately coming out on top by beating Hamilton with a nearby uprooted tree. Vaughn arrests Hamilton and, with Templeton's assistance, shuts down the casino. In the closing scene it is revealed that the local mill is back in use.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In the original film, Pusser uses a wooden club to beat the criminals. Director Kevin Bray wanted to update it by making it a baseball bat. There were objections, so the compromise was just to add a handle. Although it was filmed in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada, the setting of this 2004 film is in semi-rural Kitsap County, Washington, and not in the McNairy County, Tennessee, where Buford Pusser originally served as a sheriff.

Reception[edit]

The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. Based on 128 reviews collected by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 24% of critics gave Walking Tall a positive review, with an average rating of 4.4/10.[1]

Despite negative reception, the film grossed over $57,000,000 (worldwide total). The budget of the film was $46 million.[2]

Music[edit]

The southern rock/country band, State Line Mob included a song titled "McNairy County Line" on their 2008 album, Ruckus, which honors Buford Pusser and tells the story from a factual point of view.

Sequel[edit]

Walking Tall: The Payback and Walking Tall: Lone Justice, are two direct-to-video sequels that have been released starring Kevin Sorbo.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Walking Tall (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Walking Tall (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 

External links[edit]