So this is what Sam Peckinpah’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia would have been like had it been made with a Hollywood budget and starred a wrestler-turned-actor. The Rundown, Peter Berg’s jokey action/adventure film about a buff bounty hunter (The Rock) sent to a rundown Latin American town called El Dorado to retrieve his boss’ wayward treasure-hunter son (Sean William Scott), is the kind of film that sounds worse the more you talk about it. Nonetheless, it’s still superior to the Rock’s previous (and subsequent) outings meant to cement his status as the next Schwarzenegger – who, surprisingly, makes a blink-or-you-miss-it torch-passing cameo. Like Midnight Run, The Rundown’s primary asset is the cantankerous relationship between the Rock and Scott, whose humorous bickering includes Scott mocking his ripped-bod captor with questions like “How often do you work out?” Unfortunately, the film’s wildly uneven pace and reliance on slower expository scenes has the unfortunate effect of diffusing the comedy that keeps the mundane CGI and wire work-enhanced fisticuffs engaging. Scott is in search of a legendary gold statue known as the Gato, much to the dismay of an exploitative jungle imperialist (Christopher Walken) who fears the Gato might be used by a group of rebels to empower the poor peasant population currently enslaved in his mines. In this respect, the Rock’s whirlwind ass-kicking can be seen as an act of Marxist heroism over capitalist exploitation – if, that is, you can take the film’s proletariat call-to-arms seriously after watching juvenile scenes involving monkeys dry-humping the Rock’s face and jokes about a handcuffed Scott needing to unzip his pants to pee. Rosario Dawson sleepwalks through her nothing role as a mysterious sidekick, and those looking for Walken’s one funny moment from the film’s TV commercials – in which he disbelievingly yells “Ow!” after a gun is shot out of his hand – will be disappointed to find that Berg chose a different, less funny take for the finished film. As with Walking Tall, the Rock’s character abhors guns, but unlike that lame-o rednexploitation remake, The Rundown breaks down for one brief climactic scene and lets the big guy have a little fun blasting anonymous soldiers with a shotgun. After all, the Rock is no candy ass….