The Rundown

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The Rundown
The Rundown Movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Berg
Produced byMarc Abraham
Bill Corless
Karen Glasser
Kevin Misher
Screenplay byR.J. Stewart
James Vanderbilt
Story byR.J. Stewart
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
CinematographyTobias A. Schliessler
Edited byRichard Pearson
Distributed by
Release date
  • September 26, 2003 (2003-09-26)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$85 million[3]
Box office$80.9 million[3]

The Rundown (known internationally as Welcome to the Jungle) is a 2003 American action comedy film directed by Peter Berg and written by James Vanderbilt and R.J. Stewart. It stars Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Christopher Walken, Rosario Dawson and William Lucking. In the film, Johnson plays a bounty hunter who travels to Brazil to retrieve his employer's son (Scott). The film was released by Universal Pictures in North America and Japan and by Sony Pictures Releasing under Columbia Pictures label internationally on September 26, 2003, and made $80.9 million on an $85 million budget.[3]


Beck (Dwayne Johnson) is a "retrieval expert", a bounty hunter who collects debts for a man named Billy Walker (William Lucking). He is dispatched to a nightclub to retrieve a championship ring from a football player, and after doing so is assaulted by one of Walker's other collectors. Angry, he confronts Walker and tells him that he wants out of the business. Walker talks him into one last bounty - retrieve Walker's son Travis (Seann William Scott) from a small mining town in Brazil and Walker will give him enough money to open his own restaurant. Beck accepts and leaves for Brazil. When Beck arrives in the town of El Dorado he meets with the man running the mining operation, Cornelius Hatcher (Christopher Walken). Hatcher gives Beck his blessing to grab Travis, but reneges when he finds out that Travis has discovered a missing golden artifact called "O Gato do Diabo” (The Devil's Cat). Beck confronts Hatcher and his men in the local bar and leaves with Travis. On the way back to the airfield, Travis forces their Jeep off the road and into the jungle. There he tries to escape but is re-captured by Beck. After an unfortunate encounter with some local monkeys, the two find themselves in the camp of the local resistance movement.

At the resistance encampment, Travis convinces the rebels that Beck works for Hatcher and was sent to kill them all. After a prolonged fight, Beck gains the upper hand before the rebel leader Mariana (Rosario Dawson) intervenes. She wants Travis, as the Gato can be used to ensure the locals can free themselves from Hatcher. Hatcher suddenly attacks the camp, killing many rebels. Beck, Travis, and Mariana escape the camp and Beck makes Mariana a deal: she helps him get Travis to the airfield in exchange for the Gato. After some searching, Travis leads them to a cave behind a waterfall where the Gato is located. They retrieve it and begin the journey back.

On the way back, Mariana chastises Travis for wanting to sell the artifact, but Travis argues that he actually did want to give it to a museum. Mariana gives the two men Konlobos, a toxic fruit that temporarily paralyzes the eater. As she tells Beck which direction the airfield is, she leaves them with the fire to keep the animals away. After waking up able to move, Beck hauls Travis to the airfield. The local pilot, Declan (Ewen Bremner), tells Beck that Mariana was captured earlier by Hatcher and will probably be killed. Travis pleads with Beck to help, and the two head into town to rescue her. Using a cow stampede for cover, the two begin their assault on Hatcher's goons. Travis becomes trapped by gunfire in a bus, and Beck saves him before the bus explodes. Hatcher tells his brother to take Mariana and the Gato and flee, but they are stopped by Travis. Hatcher confronts Beck, who offers him the chance to leave town, which Hatcher initially refuses. After he is shot by the townspeople, Hatcher agrees to leave town, but eventually dies from his gunshot wounds. Travis gives the Gato to Mariana before leaving with Beck, who tells him that despite all they've been through he must still return Travis to the United States. Travis is delivered to his dad who begins to verbally and physically abuse him. Beck asks to celebrate with them and gives Walker and his men Konlobos. As they are paralyzed, Beck uncuffs Travis and the duo leave together, with Travis continuing to jokingly annoy Beck.



The movie was originally called Helldorado. It was offered to Peter Berg, who had made one film, Very Bad Things. Looking for inspiration how to do it, Berg bought a DVD titled "The Fifty Best Fights Ever Filmed." At first he says watching it made him depressed."I just thought, 'Good God, it's all been done _ and it's all been done so well, probably with more money than I'm going to have," Berg said. "What am I going to do?" Then he saw the fight between Roddy Piper and Keith David in They Live. "It just hurt watching it," Berg says. "It was a completely different style from all these sexy and sleek movies. And thinking about it, I couldn't remember the last time in a movie fight where I felt the pain, where if you got hit in the face, it hurt. So that's where I found my breathing room: Let's give people old-school guys slugging it out with big punches."[4]

Producer Kevin Misher called the film "Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark" meets "Romancing the Stone" with a little bit of "Midnight Run." [5]

Johnson was paid $12.5 million for the film. "This movie could have been a dark, vicious action thriller," said Berg. "But the fact that it's playful and funny is a tribute to The Rock. He's a charming, charismatic and very smart man."[6]

Berg and producer Kevin Misher were held up by armed robbers in Brazil in June 2002 while scouting locations.[7] This meant they decided to film in Hawaii instead. Shooting began September 2002. "We just basically made up as we went along," said Scott.[4]

One scene on Oahu involved Johnson and Scott falling down the side of a mountain. "The goal was to put the biggest fall down a hill in a movie that people have ever seen," said Berg. "The big inspiration was the old 'Wide World of Sports' - 'and the agony of defeat' - and wondering what would have happened if that poor bastard on the ski slope had had a few more stages to go," it became a question of finding the stuntmen." Johnson's regular stuntman refused to do the stunt so they hired "a guy who has a reputation for just doing anything," said Berg. The new stuntman was knocked out the first time.[4]

Arnold Schwarzenegger made a cameo on the film, made when he was Governor of California. He visited Universal Studios during the shoot and was having lunch with The Rock. Berg asked if he would like to appear in the film and Schwarzenegger agreed if they could do it then. "Within 15 minutes, we were on the set," said Berg.[8]


Critical reception[edit]

As of July 2020, the film holds a 69% approval rating on the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 153 reviews with an average rating of 6.34 out of 10. The website's critical consensus states that the film "doesn't break any new ground, but it's a smart, funny buddy action picture with terrific comic chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Seann William Scott."[9] At Metacritic, the film has a score of 59 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[10]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3​12 stars out of 4, saying "The jungle locations give the film a texture and beauty that underlines the out-sized characters."[11] Matt Mendel of the Atlanta Film Buffs gives the film 3 out of 4 starts, saying "Sean William Scott has the bring the level down."

Despite the positive acclaim, The Rundown was a significant box office failure, grossing just under $81 million worldwide compared to its $85 million budget,[3] which makes a sequel not entirely likely. Director Peter Berg has expressed interest in making a sequel to the film but notes that "no one can ever get motivated and focused enough to do it."[12]

Possible sequel[edit]

In an interview with in September 2016, Berg wants to make a sequel with Johnson returning and having Jonah Hill appear.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Rundown". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Turan, Kenneth (September 26, 2003). "Rock-ribbed 'Rundown'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Rundown (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Peter Berg wants you to feel their pain: [HOME Edition] Whipp, Glenn. Daily Breeze 26 Sep 2003: K12.
  5. ^ ROCK 'n' roll 'em: In spite of a little bloodshed, all's heavenly on the set of the film formerly known as 'Helldorado' Ryan, Tim. Honolulu Star - Bulletin 22 Oct 2002: n/a.
  6. ^ Man of Action! ** Former Bethlehem resident The Rock is on a roll with 'The Rundown': [SECOND Edition] Amy Longsdorf Morning Call 20 Sep 2003: D1.
  7. ^ Team behind The Rock's latest film robbed on location Anonymous. 21 June 2002.
  8. ^ Arnold to Rock: I'll be backing you up in your movie: [National Edition] National Post 23 Sep 2003: AL04.
  9. ^ "The Rundown (Welcome to the Jungle) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  10. ^ "The Rundown Reviews, Rating, Credits, and More - Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 26, 2003). "The Rundown". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  12. ^ "Exclusive: The Kingdom's Peter Berg -". 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  13. ^ Trumbore, Dave (September 13, 2016). "Exclusive: Peter Berg Wants Jonah Hill Opposite Dwayne Johnson in 'The Rundown 2'". Collider.

External links[edit]