Film / The Rundown

Beck (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is a Bounty Hunter who wants to quit the business and open a restaurant, but his boss Billy sends him on one last assignment: Go down to The Amazon and bring his wayward son Travis (Seann William Scott) back to Los Angeles. So Beck heads down to the Amazon, where he meets eccentric Scottish airplane pilot Declan (Ewen Bremner) and finds a totalitarian regime run by Hatcher (Christopher Walken), who double-crosses Beck shortly after he finds Travis.

Beck and Travis flee to the jungle where, after some obstacles (including a run-in with wild baboons), they join up with a rebellion led by Mariana (Rosario Dawson), an acquaintance of Travis', and go on a search for an ancient artifact Travis has been searching for.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Abusive Parents: Billy. It's the reason why Beck takes Travis with him at the end.
  • The Cameo: Arnold Schwarzenegger appears for about four seconds to tell Dwayne Johnson's character to "have fun".
  • The Dying Walk: Hatcher is shot in the middle of his Villainous Breakdown, and somewhat belatedly decides that he's going to take the option Beck gave him of walking away. All he does is walk it a little way down the street of his town before he collapses and dies.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: Option A/Option B. Option A is that you shut up and do what Beck says. Option B is that he makes you. You really don't want Option B. Despite this, no one in the movie ever chooses Option A, and the implication is that no one ever does (which is actually somewhat logical— Beck isn't a well-known badass in this world, so if some random guy confronts a cocky bastard about overdue debts and such, there's a good chance Beck won't be taken seriously... until he cleans house with whatever protection the target has enlisted.)
  • Embarrassing First Name / Embarrassing Middle Name: "Cornelius Bernard Hatcher, your time has come!"
  • Establishing Character Moment: Beck's first fight in the club. He does his best not to pick a fight with the football players ("The entire offensive line is here!") but not out of fear ("They have a legitimate shot of repeating this year, I do not want to hurt them!"), but when they go with Option B, Beck proceeds to mop the floor with a group of trained athletes.
  • Everything Is Better With Monkeys: Not. At one point in the film, Beck and Travis are attacked, and apparently all but dry-humped, by a pack of wild monkeys in the jungle.
  • Fanservice: Rosario Dawson. Even more so here as she's in jungle wear for much of the film.
  • Faux Action Girl: Mariana. Made worse that her big action scene where Hatcher's goons track her down, but she puts up a fight, machine gun blazing was deleted from the final cut of the film.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After Beck tells Travis about Option A or Option B, Travis suggests an Option C. Beck's response: "There is no option C."
  • La Résistance: Mariana leads a group of rebels who oppose Hatcher because he is ruthlessly exploiting their people, arranging things so that their paltry working wage doesn't even begin to cover the cost of working and living, meaning that they have to borrow from Hatcher, getting so deep into debt with him that there is no hope of getting out of it — an arrangement that Mariana calls nothing less than escravidão: slavery.
  • Large Ham: Hatcher, all the way.
    • It's worth watching the entire film to see his enraged monologue to his Brazilian henchmen which inexplicably centers on the tooth fairy (real life foreshadowing?). The realization that his henchmen are unfamiliar with the concept of the tooth fairy only further infuriates him.
    • All the scenery Hatcher didn't chew up? Declan will be more than happy to take care of that. The sequence where he is quoting Dylan Thomas while Beck is realizing he's going to have to use guns is especially egregious.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: In full effect, especially in the film's climax. Interestingly enough, the counterpart trope associated with receiving bullets with bizarre physical properties, Blown Across the Room, is mostly averted. Kicked Across The Room, on the other hand...
  • Made of Iron: Travis. No, really. Stop laughing. Watch how many times he gets hit, flung, or exploded. And he just walks it off. Even Beck notices it when he punches Travis after the waterfall. He actually looks down at his hand in surprise, shaking it in pain. Which he didn't do after smacking around nearly everyone else in the entire movie.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The baboons that attack the protagonists are African baboons rather than anything native to South America.
  • Oh, Crap!: More than just a specific moment, Beck's one weakness is being taken by surprise. Of course, once he knows what to expect, he usually flips it around very quickly.
  • Orifice Invasion: The candiru are said to be able to do this, something which may or may not be Truth in Television depending on who you ask.
  • Rousing Speech: Done by Declan. It even includes Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night."
  • Scotireland: In spite of wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes near the film's finale, Declan also speaks with a terrible Irish accent, keeps a leprechaun bobblehead on the dashboard of his plane, and also has a shamrock on said plane's tail.
    • It is most likely that the character is meant to be from Northern Ireland, where Scottish piping traditions (as well as accent features) have to some extent migrated, and the unintelligible accent is poking fun at the fact that nobody else can understand "Norn Iron." The actor, for the record, is Scottish.
  • Rule of Funny: Theoretically, during the scene in which Travis convinces Beck to stop and let Travis relieve himself, Beck could have handcuffed Travis and himself together, allowing Travis one free hand to handle his business, while simultaneously preventing escape. Either that, or Travis could have just sat down and pulled his cuffed arms to the front so he could unzip himself and pee. But it was funnier to make Beck to it.
  • Scenery Dissonance: Type 1. The movie mostly takes place in beautiful South American jungles, contrasted with a brutally oppressed town and a lot of fast-paced gun violence... and some horny monkeys.
  • Shout-Out: When Travis challenges Beck at the end: "I'm gonna bust you up." "Go for it."
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Beck uses two. That even have "Do Not Go Gentle" in the handle.
  • Stat-O-Vision: Called 'Beck Vision' in the commentary. Beck has a really good eye for detail, and sharp vision, taking in a multitude of details, both visual and audible. We see this as rapid zoom-ins, jump-cuts and one to two seconds of the detail in question up close, before jumping to the next, and the next, and the next. It's done very well, too.
  • Title Drop: With the original ("Your kid was a tough rundown, Billy"), working (sign reading "El Dorado" vandalized to read "Helldorado"), and alternate titles ("Welcome to the Jungle, tough guy")!
  • Tranquil Fury: When Knappmiller tosses his drink in Beck's face and tells him to get lost, Beck goes into the bathroom, cleans up, takes a second, and looks himself in the mirror with a glare that is all business. He walks out and kicks the crap out of an entire offensive line and forcibly retrieves collateral from Knappmiller.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Everyone to Beck. Seriously, should have gone with Option A.
  • Unflinching Walk: There's a big explosion halfway through the climax. Duh.
  • The Unintelligible: Declan. It's even lampshaded when The Rock is flying in.
    Beck: Booze...on the grind? What?
  • Unorthodox Reload: And how! Flipping akimbo shotguns upside-down by the trigger guard and racking the action held between arm and ribcage. Holding both shotguns in one hand, pumping both slides at the same time with the other. You will never see a shotgun used like this anywhere else, nor look at them the same ever again after this movie.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Hatcher fully believes he's making a better place for the natives.