Picks and Pans Review: The Rundown

updated 10/06/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/06/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Rock, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken

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The Rock is growing on us. We're still not going to spend our Friday nights watching pro wrestling on television, but this muscular behemoth has a definite sense of humor, including about himself, and he shows both it and his chiseled physique off to advantage in The Rundown, a chase-'em-and-shoot-'em movie that is a cut above the average action-hero flick.

Witness this exchange, which occurs when the Rock (born Dwayne Johnson) enters a shanty bar in the middle of the Amazon jungle and says, "I'm looking for a man."

"What's your type?" replies Mariana (Dawson), a saucy barmaid.

The Rock plays Beck, who longs to open a gourmet restaurant but in the meantime hunts down people for pay. He travels to Brazil to find the adventurer son (Scott) of a rich client but soon finds himself battling both rebel soldiers and a corrupt mine owner (Walken) who commands whip-wielding thugs.

Director Peter Berg (Very Bad Things) brings a hip goofiness to the proceedings without sacrificing the action. Dawson does what she can with a dopey part and Scott is less offensively irksome than in his recent American Wedding turn. (PG-13)

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