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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: The Rock, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ewen Bremner

Director: Peter Berg

THE RUNDOWN (US title) or WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (UK title) is never going to be highly regarded by so-called serious movie critics. Mainstream movies that set out to entertain their audience almost always get trashed by that type of journalist. But lets face it – how many people just want to sometimes go out to see a movie and have a fun evening. How many people want to be entertained?

Well this is one film that has no pretensions. Beck (The Rock) is hired to track down Travis (Seann William Scott) who’s run off to Brazil to find a lost artefact in the Amazon jungle. Beck always brings back his man but things are not always that straight forward as not only does Travis not want to return but he’s also mixed up with the local freedom fighters, a cruel mine owner Hatcher (Christopher Walken) and of course there’s a girl Mariana (Rosario Dawson).

The movie is totally predictable. You know right from the start what the ending is going to be, but it’s done so well and in such an entertaining and amusing way that it really doesn’t matter because it’s how they get there that’s important. The Rock who previously made such a big screen impact with his starring role in THE SCORPION KING has a real on-screen presence in a kind of Arnold Schwarzenegger way and Seann William Scott has the kind of face and aura that you just know is going to stir things up and create general mayhem. The Rock has the power to give the movie its force while Seann William Scott is virtually guaranteed to keep you entertained – he has such an engaging personality. Either one of these actors could carry a movie but together they present sure-fire entertainment.

Finally if that’s not enough ‘personality’ for you Christopher Walken puts on his best ‘slightly deranged’ act giving the movie three completely different but strong individuals. Poor Rosario Dawson almost has to muscle in on the act to get her screen time and to her credit she does make her presence known, but she clearly has to fight for it.

In the end the audience wins though, that is as long as you’re just out to have some fun and not looking for social comment or some deep meaning and don’t forget, this one is all about the journey as the ending is a forgone conclusion.

I thoroughly enjoyed it!

5 out of 6 stars