Director: Tripp Reed | 88 minutes | action, crime, drama, thriller, western | Actors: Kevin Sorbo, Yvette Nipar, A.J. Buckley, Gail Cronauer, Bentley Mitchum, Haley Ramm, Jennifer Sipes, Robert Paschall Jr., Charles Baker, Ron Bath, Steve M. Clark, Jerry Cotton, John S. Davies, Vince Davis, J.D. Fryberger, Jason Hammond, Merk Harbor, Jack Hurst, Grant James, Dell Johnson, Mike Kirton, Brad Leland, Marc Macaulay, Richard Nance, Cord Newman, Matthew Posey, Craig Taylor, Todd Terry
A sequel to a remake of an original that has two sequels on its own. Right: that sentence is almost as incomprehensible as the motif behind this film. The “Walking Tall” series dates back to the 1970s and always has the same formula; local, tormented hero takes on the criminal scum that ravages village X. This is also the case in “Walking Tall: The Payback”. While the original was still based on an interesting true story, and the 2004 remake still to do with The Rock at the helm, part two really offers nothing new under the sun and is above all very annoying.
Nick Prescott (Kevin Sorbo) is the son of the local sheriff of a southern village that is in the grip of Harvey Morris (A.J. Buckley) and his three mates. This brings the total number of villains to a whopping four. Very impressive… The sheriff has had enough of the oppression and asks Nick if he wants to help chase the scum away. But Nick, who has a bad relationship with his father, thanks a lot. Nick has found his calling as a horse boy. Then Harvey kills his father – deviously – by driving the sheriff off the road in a big truck. The turnips are done and Nick battles Harvey.
It should be clear that “The Payback” does not have any great aspirations in advance. The film opens promisingly with a fine explosion at a petrol station, but within fifteen minutes it ends in a sea of clichés. What can be said about a film that doesn’t take itself seriously or even makes an effort to contain some soul? Yes, for the average action enthusiast the whole package is there: slow motion murders, explosions, elaborate sermons during a firefight, rape, corrupt project developers and so on. But this is all so incredibly unimaginative that the film is more compassionate than a guilty pleasure. Kevin Sorbo, known primarily as Hercules in the TV series of the same name, is the epitome of a B actor. The best man does not get any sense of it normally and is easily outplayed by the rest of the cast. Not entertaining, not exciting, no quarrels and lots of clichés.
Walking Tall: The Payback does not try its best to be an entertaining movie and thus does not deserve to be watched. A real stinker.