The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee

Rundown, The (3/1/2004)


Directed by Peter Berg (Collateral, Friday Night Lights)

Starring The Rock, William Scott, Christopher Walken

Jonathan's Rating: Theatre Worthy

It’s seems that in the last two decades, actors like Steven Seagal and Jeanne-Claude Van Damme have morphed the action flick into a vehicle readily equipped with bone-breaking fight scenes, nudity, sex, and foul language. As a guy who likes action flicks, I never believed that good action necessitates half dressed women, foul mouthed men, and femurs popping out of peoples’ thighs. “The Rundown” just proved me right.

Now don’t get me wrong—“The Rundown” does have violence. It has some fabulous fight scenes, and there is a shootout at the end of the film. But there is absolutely no sex, no nudity, and little, if any cussing.

The movie features The Rock playing Beck, a bounty hunter who dreams of owning his own restaurant some day . . . a bounty hunter who can take on the entire offensive line of last years Super bowl team (“Midnight Run” meets “Terminator II”). After a VERY entertaining opening scene establishing Beck’s capability, he is given what seems like an easy final job, to bring Travis (William Scott) home from the Amazon to his mob boss father. But Beck soon finds out that Travis isn’t the bad guy he’d been warned about, and they team up against an army of locals in search of some great riches.

My 2 Cents
One thing I always like in a film is something new. This film surprised me several times: it has some of the best choreographed action sequences I’ve seen since Jackie Chan, the characters are creative and unpredictable, and The Rock plays a very likable hero. (Action movies need good heroes.)

Little kids, no. It’s too violent and they just won’t get it.

Young teens? I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Just two scenes to consider:

  • The language isn't great. It's not R-rated by any means, but you'll hear sh** several times, d***, and a few of the normal milder ones.

  • In one scene, an attacking monkey clings on to one of the characters and makes a “humping” motion.

  • There is a shootout in the end of the film. But the violence is about the level of “The A-Team.”

Action buffs—this film is what you’ve been waiting for!

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?

  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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