If we lived in a just world, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be the undeniable heir apparent to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action throne. And within this world, we also would see no less than two sequels to one of his best films, “The Rundown.”
Johnson plays Beck, a bounty hunter who wants nothing more than to retire and open his own restaurant, a goal he should finally have enough money to achieve once he retrieves one final mark. That mark is Travis (Seann William Scott), the son of a wealthy businessman who refuses to return home while searching for a golden artifact in South America. The problem? Travis’ work also has caught the eye of Hatcher (Christopher Walken), owner of a mining operation that’s oppressing a Brazilian village.
In an age where far-less-deserving action franchises get sequel after generic sequel, it frustrates me to no end that a movie with as much personality and fun as “The Rundown” gets left in the dust. This was still relatively early in Johnson’s screen-acting career, but he certainly shows the potential that he’s got the presence, charisma and physicality to surpass even Schwarzenegger at his best.
Also, it’s the only movie ever where Seann William Scott wasn’t annoying beyond toleration.
My point is that this is a criminally underappreciated movie that’s fun from beginning to end and is far more deserving of more stories with Beck than, say, a half dozen “Underworld” sequels.
Sweet and Savory Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
3 cups of cooked quinoa
(prepared according to package directions)
1/2 cup diced red, yellow or orange bell pepper
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
1/4 cup dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries, diced salt & pepper
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
After preparing quinoa according to package directions, cool completely. After cooling, combine quinoa, bell pepper, cucumber, apricots and cranberries in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place orange juice, white wine vinegar, honey and olive oil into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until combined and drizzle over the quinoa. Toss well and chill until ready to serve.
— Christine Gardner, Tyler Morning Telegraph Food Editor