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WALKING TALL

BY NINA MACLAUGHLIN

Kevin Brayís improbable and gratuitous remake of the 1973 hixploitation hit is based on the true story of Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser. Pining for the smell of cedar, Chris Vaughn (the Rock) returns to his home town in rural Washington after an eight-year stint in the military to find that the mill has been closed for three years and the Wild Cherry Casino opened in its stead by icy-eyed Jay Hamilton Jr. (Neal McDonough) and his band of backwoods henchmen. As Chrisís pal Ray (Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame) says, itís become a town of "fake boobs and real assholes." Not only are the casino dice loaded (when Chris makes a stink, he winds up pinned to a back-room table and getting his washboard belly slashed with a box cutter), but the Wild Cherry security are selling crystal meth to kids. Itís when his young nephew gets taken to the hospital after an overdose that Chris takes the law ó not to mention a huge cedar club ó into his own hands and starts ridding the town of crime, one smash at a time. But if nothing else, the movie reminds us that the wrestler-turned-actor camp is a whole lot more endearing than the wrestler-turned-politician alternative. (90 minutes)


Issue Date: April 2 - 8, 2004
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