|Dwayne Johnson & Johnny Knoxville|
Accompanying Vaughn in his self-made mission is Ray Templeton (Johnny Knoxville) and Deni (Ashley Scott). The character of Deni is an important part of the plot because she gives Vaughn another reason to retaliate. As for development, the four writers couldn't manage to make her any different from any other action film. It's not that say the development does not exist, it's just overly predictable and cliche to use. It can be said that for the character of Ray (for people that know of Knoxville's acting) that it's not very different from other Knoxville performances. Yet, Knoxville is funny and lively edition to the cast. He balances out the straight, no games attitude Dwayne Johnson carries around and Ashley Scott's typecast action role. There's several moments where Knoxville is just allowed to go cuckoo and it just makes the appreciation for the character go way up. For all it's worth, Knoxville may just be playing himself, who knows.
Neal McDonough as the casino owner has a number of deadpan comical moments as well. This is mostly due to how he sees Chris Vaughn and how their relationship changes over time. Kevin Durand has a minor role in this film and although his character isn't likable, his character also has a key part to play in the unfolding of the story. As for action, all sequences are well staged and pack enough energy to keep the film going (even if the end credits take up 12 minutes of time). Dwayne Johnson carrying anything (it doesn't have to be a gun) as a weapon is an instant win just because of how sheer deadly he can be. However, in the writing there was a missed opportunity and that belongs to the finale fight. It's not that it doesn't look good or isn't fun. The thing is, where the fight initially starts actually looks like it would've been a better setting for the final action sequence to take place. Sadly as soon as the setting was introduced, it was quickly moved to somewhere else. Imagine if it did stay there though (for those who saw it already)?
Aside from a missed opportunity in setting for the finale and cliche character development, this is a lean, solid action flick. Dwayne Johnson brings the muscle into the action sequences, Johnny Knoxville brings the energy with the laughs, the music suits the scenes and the cinematography is well shot.
Points Earned --> 7:10