Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So I’m chillin’ at the crib watching a couple of DTV flicks for the weekend, because number one, it’s what I do and number 2, I have no social life whatsoever.  Sure, I’d rather be at my girlfriends house knocking uglies, but my wife won’t let me have a girlfriend.  I know, I don’t get it either.  I guess I could go out with my friends and drink it up at the bar, but damn if most of my friends are married too and their wives won’t let them leave the house after dark.  So here I sit watching DTV movies on my rather nice LCD TV.    First flick I saw was the truly putrid ‘Soft Target’ starring legendary low budget kung-fu master Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson.  Then we followed that up with a movie that was better in every conceivable way than ‘Soft Target’ with the Kevin Sorbo vehicle, Walking Tall 2.  Every conceivable way.  The direction is tighter in ‘Walking Tall 2’, Kevin Sorbo is freaking Robert DeNiro compared to ‘The Dragon’, the story is better, and the villains are better.  Sadly, ‘Walking Tall 2’ didn’t have any gratuitous nudity as The Dragon’s flick blessed us with, but still, it’s a far superior film, as far the craft of film goes, than ‘Soft Target’.  So then why did I have more fun watching the puke awful ‘Soft Target’ than the decidedly upgraded, though upgraded to mediocre, ‘Walking Tall 2’?


Because loyal reader, ‘Walking Tall 2’ WAS mediocre.  It is absolutely no fun watching a film that is neither bad nor good, one that glides along from beginning to end with absolutely nothing distinguishing itself from anything else out there.  Where ‘Soft Target’ was awesome in it’s crappiness, giving a potential scribe lots of fun things to write about, ‘Walking Tall 2’ simply allows your eyes to fall upon it's nothingness and watch without involvement until it’s final credits roll. 


I suppose the first question we could ask is why in the hell did they call this thing ‘Walking Tall’ since Buford T. Pusser ain’t nowhere to be found anymore.  But here we have Kevin Sorbo as horse trainer Nick who for reasons not explained is estranged from his country sheriff father (Bentley Mitchum).  The Sheriff is investigating why

folks are just up and leaving town.  Turns out evil trailer park trash Harvey, working on behalf of some big time conglomerate in Dallas is strong arming folks into selling their property so that the conglom can build luxury homes for the upcoming super highway.  And if they don’t sell, then they end up dead.  Well Sheriff Andy pokes his nose in a little too deep which can’t end good for the dude.  Nick may not have liked his dad all that much, he’ll be damned if you can just go and kill him, so he heads back to town, grabs a sheriffs badge and a bat and starts regulating stuff.


You know the routine.  Nick strikes at the bad guys, the bad guys strike back harder.  Nick strikes back even harder then the bad guys start doing stuff that makes you say 'damn'.  Kidnapping peoples mothers and gang raping waitresses in their trailers ain’t ever cool.  ‘Walking Tall 2’ even throws in a big old big business conspiracy at us.  Typically, we have a hero who we might as well paint an S his chest doing battle with a guy who’s so evil that has to borrow a heart to keep his blood pumping, and it ends in a fiery showdown, shootout.  I won’t spoil it for you with who wins, but my money is on Hercules.


There’s really not a lot to deconstruct about ‘Walking Tall 2’ as it delivers what one would expect from a movie like this and as such, lovers of these kinds of flicks shouldn’t be disappointed.  Sorbo ain’t no Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, but he’s a serviceable action hero and he knows how to competently deliver his lines.  There’s action scenes galore and lots of things that go boom.  There’s a Black character who sacrifices his life for the greater good, and a female tossed in as somewhat of a love interest.  At least she’s unique in that she doesn’t have to be saved at the end.  That privilege goes to actress Gail Cronauer who plays Nick’s mom, Emma.


Again, there’s nothing particularly wrong with ‘Walking Tall 2: The Payback’, but there’s nothing too terribly right with it either.   It’s a 90 minute time waster that at least won’t have you clawing your eyes out.  I happen to enjoy clawing my eyes out.  Yay Soft Target!

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