The gloomy 1970s were a good time for dark, bloody, man-against-tall-odds dramas. Two of the more successful movies in this genre were Phil Karlsonâ€™s cult classic Walking Tall and Sam Peckinpahâ€™s controversial (at the time, anyway) Straw Dogs. Now that we live in the Age of the Remake, over the last few years weâ€™ve inevitably gotten shiny new versions of both.
The two films feature loner protagonists, overmatched against hostile forces much better equipped to prevail in a fight. In the case of Walking Tall, Iraqi war vet Chris Vaughn (Dwayne Johnson, or â€œThe Rockâ€ to fans of his pro wrestling career) squares off against an evil casino owner and the minions heâ€™s been able to corrupt with his money. Meanwhile, nerdy Straw Dogs protagonist David Sumner (James Marsden) has to contend with a pack of violent rednecks including both Alexander Skarsgard (Zoolander, TVâ€™s True Blood) and the ever-volatile James Woods, either of whom would be a scary opponent all by himself. […]