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"Walking Tall"

THERE IS not much that can be said about MGM Pictures' ``Walking Tall" starring The Rock except that it is completely disconnected with reality — strange considering it is supposedly adapted from a true story. What it does admirably is that it manages very successfully to squander the appeal The Rock has built up. A remake of a Seventies movie, ``Walking Tall" is about a man (real life Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser) who returns from the army to his southern hometown to find it over run with corruption. Crooks and gangsters are the new kings.

Not a bad concept - but in execution? The director (Kevin Bray) assumes audiences would love to see The Rock consistently smash up things with a huge piece of wood. No less. That's pretty much there is to the film. Plus, it is difficult to fathom why the director would want us to root for a character that acts impetuously and more important, illegally.

The Rock plays Chris Vaughn, Special Operations Officer, who returns home to settle down. But he finds the old mill that provided work for many of the residents closed and a gambling casino is flourishing.

The sheriff turns a blind eye to the activities. On his first day home Chris is taken to the casino where he finds fraud and cheating the order of the day and a major fight breaks out. Chris visits the casino and a fight breaks out. He is overpowered and the owner, Jay Hamilton (Neal Mc Donough) a childhood associate of Chris, gets his men to carve their signature on his chest and throw him out. He is picked up by a passing truck and taken to the hospital. Chris's family — dad (John Beasley) mom (Barbara Tarbuck), sister (Kristen Wilson) and her son (Khelo Thomas) — help him recover and tell him to leave things as they are. But will he back down? Oh no. He wants revenge. Superficial and illogical, there is, however, plenty of gunfire and casino strippers and yes plenty of The Rock. If that is your cup of tea, then ``Walking Tall" just might be your two hours of entertainment.

CHITRA MAHESH

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