Wednesday, June 26, 2024


 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Choice Movie Actor - Drama/Action Adventure” (Dwayne Johnson) at the Teen Choice Awards. He lost to Brad Pitt in Troy.

• Best Scene/Moment: Pretty much any action sequence. This shit escalates quickly and forcefully and it’s awesome.

• Best Song: “Midnight Rider” by Gregg Allman.
• Best Merch: A “Walking Tall 2004: Neal McDonough Custom Jacket w/COA” for $250.00. I kinda need this. I want to wear it on the Holiday Show podcast this year. I doubt it would fit me, though. McDonough (who’s awesome in Walking Tall as the shit-eating grin-sporting main villain) is pretty fit and I was in 2004 but unfortunately, it’s no longer that year.

• Director Grade: Walking Tall was directed by Kevin Bray. Bray is primarily a television and music video director (for artists including Jessica Simpson, Christina Aguilera, and Jennifer Lopez) with only three feature films to his credit as director: the perfect Walking Tall, the Ice Cube-Mike Epps vehicle All About the Benjamins (unseen by me), and a Cuba Gooding Jr. DTV movie, Linewatch, which I also haven’t seen. Overall Grade: A-
• Double It with This 2004 Movie: Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

• Year 2004 Movies to Trailer Before Them: Cellular, Friday Night Lights, Never Die Alone

Color of Night or Walking Tall (2004)? Walking Tall.

• Mall Movie? Totally. It co-stars Johnny Knoxville, who is mall movie acting royalty.

• Only in 2004: An 86-minute movie that includes 13 minutes of end credits. It’s rated PG-13 and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was cut down from an R.

• Scene Stealer (tie): This is tough. I could say Johnny Knoxville, but Walking Tall is full of great villains, so I’ll go with a tie between Kevin Durand and Michael Bowen, who both play awesomely despicable henchmen.

• I Miss (tie): Dwayne Johnson performances/movies with some edge and action movies where someone says they’re going into town to get supplies.

• I Don’t Miss (tie): Surly Khleo Thomas performances and the irreverent country (harmonica?) music that plays whenever Knoxville does anything.
• 2004 Crush: Cobie Smulders.

• 2024 Crush: Cobie Smulders.

• What I Thought in 2004: I wasn’t expecting much and came away very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Walking Tall. The action was solid, Dwayne Johnson was interesting, Johnny Knoxville was funny, the villains were detestable, etc. Pretty much everything worked.

• What I Think in 2024: It’s a perfect movie. Walking Tall is maybe my second favorite movie of 2004 after Spider-Man 2 nowadays. It just gets better every time I see it. Why doesn’t Dwayne Johnson (here billed as The Rock) make more movies like this? This is a perfect choice for the following Junesploitation days: Free Space! (June 26th) and you could make an argument for Westerns! (June 28th).