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Walking Tall (2004)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Walking Tall (2004) Okay, so it's not a HORROR film, but WALKING TALL, the original film, is no doubt a classic exploitation staple of the 1970's, both brutal and uncompromising. You know the story---simple man comes back to boyhood town, discovers corruption, gets beat up and left for dead trying to stop it---then comes back with a vengeance, as Sheriff with a BIG STICK busting heads. Joe Don Baker rode tall in the lead role of the original.This new version---'inspired by the same true story'---is nothing more than a watered-down TV movie of the week copy of the classic powerhouse original. And how did this thing even get in the theaters, by the way?No plot, it's Vin Diesel or Van Damme or The Rock---one of these said Muscleheads I can't tell apart---returning home and seeing his nephew use drugs and his former best friend running a drug lab/casino in place of 'the mill' that closed down.Musclehead gets beat up after trying to show that the casino has 'rigged dice' (wow, what a cause worth fighting for!) and he gets sliced up and left for dead in the only scene reminescent of the classic original film.The scenes where Vin Rock busts heads are fun to watch. I always love it when Muslehead Dudes smash things to pieces and wallop bad guys all over the place. But they are too short and too far between.Amazingly, it took SIX SCREENWRITERS to REWRITE a perfect script that already existed from the original movie! And they essentially CUT OUT THE MEAT OF THE STORY. What was there to even write?!? Did they just get paid to DELETE all the good stuff from the original script and story? The lead Musclehead has no wife and kids that get drawn into the sick affair, you don't really care about him at all. The scenes where he runs for Sheriff last about 10 seconds! He announces 'I will run for Sheriff' and we DISSOLVE to his fancy pickup truck with Sheriff logos all over it! I guess all those SCREENWRITERS figured today's audiences don't have time for DRAMA and TENSION in the story, as in the original film, when Bufford Pusser campaigned vigorously all over town. That was fine dramatics and a most necessary story element. Somehow these hack writers cut the entire story out of the plot...is that possible? Is that a legitimate job in Hollywood these days?Everything has been condensed in this version of the movie so it barely makes sense. Basically, Dolph Diesel Rock beats some people up, and it's the end. Oh, he does get the pretty blonde girl at the end of the day, who was working as a stripper at the casino! (Another ludicrous plot device---a strip joint/casion combo?!?! Oh well, I guess since McDonald's now offers 'bunless'hamburgers ANYTHING is possible, eh?)The most dramatic thing about this movie was the morons who parked themselves in the seats next to me, slurping on sodas and digging in their BIN of popcorn unmercifully for 60 minutes straight... sounding like a cat endlessly pawing around in its litterbox eternally...Do yourself a favor, skip this WALKING TALL because it should be called RUNNING SHORT...on everything! No plot, no story, no sense. What you need to do is buy the DVD of the classic original, which is like a classic novel of epic proportions compared to this Dolph-Rock-Damme-Diesel watered down TV movie of the week...
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