The Rundown

2003

The Rundown

Critics Consensus

The Rundown doesn't break any new ground, but it's a smart, funny buddy action picture with terrific comic chemistry between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Seann William Scott.

69%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 153

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 185,861
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The Rundown Photos

Movie Info

Beck (The Rock) is a "retrieval specialist" in hock to a powerful and not particularly nice gentleman named Walker (William Lucking). Beck is anxious to retire from his dangerous work and open a small restaurant. Walker tells Beck he'll be free and clear with enough cash to fulfill his dream if he does one more job. He sends Beck into the Brazilian rainforest to bring back his wayward son, Travis (Seann William Scott). Travis is down there looking for a legendary idol, El Gato Diablo, which he could sell for millions if he found it. A pretty local, Mariana (Rosario Dawson), offers Travis the use of her boat in exchange for a cut of the take on the statue. But the powerful Hatcher (Christopher Walken) owns the area's huge mine, where locals work for slave wages, and feels that anything found in the area is his property. He refuses to let Beck take Travis back to the U.S. until the statue is in his hands. Using his estimable fighting prowess (he doesn't like guns), Beck manages to get Travis out of town, but Travis doesn't want to go home, and he ends up getting them stranded in the jungle, where they're confronted with horny monkeys and angry guerrillas. To make matters worse, Hatcher and his thugs are hot on their trail, and Mariana turns out to have her own motives for getting involved. The Rundown, the second film directed by actor Peter Berg (Very Bad Things), features a brief, uncredited cameo by Arnold Schwarzenegger. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

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News & Interviews for The Rundown

Critic Reviews for The Rundown

All Critics (153) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (106) | Rotten (47)

  • The Rock and Seann William Scott work up some nice comic chemistry, but it's the dependably warped Walken who steals the most scenes. The frenetically edited fight sequences will satisfy the blood lust of the target audience.

    Mar 12, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • A tolerable alternative when everything else playing at the mall is sold out on Saturday night.

    Sep 28, 2003
  • The Rundown, like many recent action movies, is aggressively adolescent.

    Sep 27, 2003 | Full Review…

    Michael Agger

    Slate
    Top Critic
  • The Rock ... has a special quality.

    Sep 26, 2003
  • Will probably make a star of the Rock.

    Sep 26, 2003
  • If Arnold Schwarzenegger had made a movie this tepid in his Commando/Terminator heyday, burned fans would be suggesting that he pursue some tenure as a Fresno alderman.

    Sep 26, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
    USA Today
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Rundown

  • Sep 02, 2013
    Even if there is likable stuff (Christopher Walken comes to mind), the movie never winds up being as fun as it wants to be and that's probably because of the failed combination of action-comedy elements with some kind of half-assed riff on Indiana Jones.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 16, 2013
    Some of the most popular action films of the 1980s were the ones with the main star saying very little words, but racking up a high kill count. Needless to say the genre repeated itself many time with this concept and audiences grew tire of such films. The Rundown has the feels of an 80s action flick with some of the same problems, but does get plenty of things right that makes it a surprisingly entertaining adventure. The Rundown follows a tough aspiring chef is hired to bring home a mobster's son from the Amazon but becomes involved in the fight against an oppressive town operator and the search for a legendary treasure. The plot is both smart and dumb. Smart in the way that the setup offers opportunity for many comedic moments and the premise itself is basically a setup for our hero to unleash some carnage. The film appropriately never tries to be more than what it actually is making its straightforward approach a plus. The protagonist is given some dimensions and surprisingly so do some of the other heroes that it might catch some off guard that the film develops them as much as it does. Heck, you don't even need to turn your brain off to enjoy it. As for the dumber aspect it retains some elements that audiences expect from an action film. The one liners that don't always click, the underdeveloped villain, the hero who's seen too many things and been through too many situations he'd like to forget, and the many plot conveniences. It's also not a very memorable film which despite doing most things right doesn't stand out in any way. If you could get past some of the more cliche element of the story you'll find a film that puts the characters at the center of the film over the action. Dwayne Johnson obviously has the physical stature for an action hero, but more so with his charisma. Sure audiences would immediately like to see Johnson beat up some baddies, but he does need to act more so than kill for the majority of his screen time. His over-the-top persona and expert comedic timing ends up making him likable. A natural fit in the hero role, but rather average in acting. Sean William Scott provides a good comic partner for Johnson, even providing colour commentary during some fight scenes. Christopher Walken hams it up as a cardboard cutout of a cardboard villain. Even if Walken role was written better his lack of screen time makes the absence of a true villain noticeable. Also, Walken doesn't look very intimidating when we have Dwyane Johnson standing tall above him. The action scenes are great stuff. The fight scenes include good wire-work, carefully choreographed fight scenes, a couple of gunfight into the mix given them an old fashioned feel to them. The Rundown won't change your mind on the action genre, but it's a blast to watch. A good plot, great action scenes, and the charismatic Dwayne Johnson in the leading role makes this fitting pick for any night you want a action blockbuster without the compensating your brain.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2012
    I only liked the action scenes.
    Dead A Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2012
    The Rundown is a formulaic action film that doesn't have much going for it. The story follows a mob enforcer who is sent down to South America to retrieve the boss's son, but ends up getting caught up with a group of revolutionaries. The film stars The Rock, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, and Christopher Walken, however none of them have any chemistry together and their performances are all flat. Some of the action works, but a lot of it comes off as too choreographed and fake. The Rock and Scott manage to pull off some nice comedy bits, but it gets too cartoonish after a while. The Rundown is fun and entertaining at times, but it's ultimately unsatisfying.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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