Category: Film Critique


Produced by Ashok Amritraj, a film Walking Tall is the second adaptation of the real life story since 1973. Many sources indicate various genres of the film. Some critics relate it to the drama, while others say that it is an action. Both views are correct because the movie has a dramatic final, which unfolds in acute circle of actions. A story, which is presented to the general public, is very touching for even the most demanding critics. No wonder, this is because the film is based on real events. The motives of the story were borrowed from the life of Sheriff Buford Pusser.

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This film, like a good story, is divided into three acts: the intonation, climax and the ending. From the beginning, the audience finds out about the protagonist. A former sergeant of U.S. Army named Chris Vaughn returns to his native city Kitsap. Kitsap is a small city in Washington. There are about two hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants. The overall picture of a successful town is revealed to him in a few days. He sees the essence of life from the inside. People began to obey the evil; there is no joy on the faces of civilians. Children use drugs, young girls sell their bodies for money and people are killed in the streets. That horrible picture is explained by the lack of funding in the city. Nevertheless, in an effort to help with the development of the city, one man decided to try his methods. That man was a friend of the main character Jay Hamilton. At the first glance, he tries again to restore communication with an old friend. Visiting the possession of Jay, Chris realizes that his friend has become quite wealthy. In this part of the film the main conflict was born. The main character realizes that the social status of his ex friend was gained by dishonest forces. He lives at the expense of people, taking their money in different ways (fraud, selling drugs). The main character decides to punish Jay at any price. His first and the second attempts to restore justice manifested in a scene from the casino. However, without well-planned actions he fails and gets injured. In such a way, after the attack on the casino he understands that people will not understand his actions if he does not explain them the logic behind his actions. We can refer to such moments in movies as the “falling power” of the positive main hero. He knows what he is fighting for, as well as the main target and logic of his actions, but he needs to prove that his actions are good for people.

Nevertheless, the way it happens in good films and life stories, justice will prevail over evil. There comes the culmination of the film. Having managed to win over of the residents, Chris gets the title of the main sheriff of the city. With the power in his hands, he brings the story to a climax. In this case, the climax is manifested in a bloody manner. Perhaps it is because of this scene critics attributed this movie to a drama genre. Together with his friend, Ray Templeton, he inflicts the final blow to his enemy. A bloody scene opens up in the old sawmill and moves into the forest. Chris kills Jay. With his blood, he washed away all the evil, which grew over the years in the city.

The main actor in the movie is a professional wrestler, played by the main hero of many action films Dwayne Johnson. Not surprisingly, he was elected to this role. His appearance convinces the viewer of its militancy. Interestingly, in some circumstances, the name of the main character and place of action has changed. According to the original story, events took place in McNairy County, Tennessee. His enemy in the film is the equally famous actor Neal McDonough. Viewers associate him with the so-called “negative character” due to his usual roles in films. Secondary actors in the movie are the assistant of the main hero, his school friend Ray Templeton (Johnny Knoxville) and his girlfriend Deni (Ashley Scott). Their roles are not as significant in the film as those of the main characters, but without them the main character could not cope with all the difficulties in his life.

Talking about the place of events and editing techniques, we can say that all the events of the film take place in several pavilions, including casino (the main entertainment center of the city), courtroom, police station and the house of the protagonist. The views of mountains at the beginning of the movie and forest clearings at the end were also impressive.

Most of the scenes in the beginning of the film were captured from a lower angle. Obviously, the operator wanted to show the greatness of the main hero and the countryside, where the actions took place. Gradually, with the increase in the number of events, the dynamic of a composition also changes. However, not only a camera, but also the lighting create the complete impression of the film.

Colors of the film vary. Walking Tall (2004) is not bright and not dark. The scenes in which conflicts are exacerbated are more of dark and gray colors. Their opposites are the scenes of leisure activities (such as going to the casino) and the climax of the film. This illumination is very bright and saturated. In particular, the colors in the dance scene with Deni should be mentioned. Bright blue and light blue with purple hues were favorably allocated over the figure of a young girl. The film is full of music that gives each scene its coloring. A rhythmic song called Fire by Ohio Players adds to that dance some eroticism. Gently performed Blue Monday by Flunk expressed the romantic evening of the couple. A lively song Higher Ground by Red Hot Chili Peppers set the rhythm of the game on the field at the beginning of the film.


Overall, the film is very easy to watch. Its duration is only 86 minutes. It does not contain very bloody scenes. The main idea of the film was to show that the good always overcomes the evil. Even if a human is an ordinary person, he should not be afraid to fight for his rights and interests. There will always be people who interfere with your life. Nevertheless, one should not forget the fact that there are others who will support him. The narrator emphasizes these simple rules of life. The film is aimed at the adult audience, because it contains scenes of fighting and death. However, it is worth watching.

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