In this remake of the 1973 classic, elite soldier Chris Vaughn (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) returns to his boyhood town in Washington State to discover that it’s now corrupted by his high-school rival (Neal McDonough) and legalized gambling. The town’s citizens are suffering, the businesses are languishing, and his ex-girlfriend (Ashley Scott) is now working as a pole dancer. The town mill is about to shut down. While visiting the casino, Chris discovers that the dice are loaded. After confronting the security guards, he takes a violent beating. He presses charges, but that gets him nowhere since the sheriff (Michael Bowen) secretly works for the casino. When the casino thugs push drugs on his little brother, Chris erupts by vandalizing the slot machines and game tables. After being arrested, he finishes his defense with a pledge to run for sheriff and clean up the town if the jury will clear him of all charges. The future of the community rests with the jury’s verdict … and Mr. Vaugn’s big stick.
In a story of how one man’s rage can solve a lot of problems, Walking Tall presents the potential vileness of legalized gambling, especially when it’s not tightly controlled. The hero has some outstanding qualities, but it’s his uncontrolled anger that drives him. At one point, the hero pulls his gun out of a locked cabinet, ignores his father’s warnings against violent action, and rushes to the casino in a destructive mood. The movie presents a moral sense of right and wrong, but it is incased in extreme violence, foul language and skimpily clad women, making Walking Tall not a family-friendly film.