A Forgotten Dwayne Johnson Remake Is Now On Netflix

Dwayne Johnson's 2004 remake of the film Walking Tall is now available to stream on Netflix.

By Vic Medina | Published

If Black Adam has you jonesing for more Dwayne Johnson cinematic masterpieces, we’d like to inform you that his 2004 film, Walking Tall, is now available to stream on Netflix. The film, a remake of a 1970s classic, features Johnson in his early post-WWE film career, in an underdog story tailor-made for him, from director Kevin Bray (Succession).

The film follows retired Special Forces Sergeant Chris Vaughn, who returns home to a small town in rural Washington state, only to find things have changed a lot since he left. The local mill that has supported the town has closed, and a casino run by his childhood friend Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough, Yellowstone). Jay and his casino staff have introduced drugs and crime into the town, and of course, Chris clashes with them.

Chris finds his old flame from high school Deni (Ashley Scott) is now a stripper at the casino, and when he discovers his nephew Pete (Khleo Thomas) bought crystal meth there, Chris goes on a rampage. He trashes the casino single-handedly, although the casino staff beat him severely, slashing his body with a knife. The sheriff, who is cozy with the casino, refuses to press charges or crack down on them, so Chris decides to run for sheriff, and wins.

After becoming sheriff, Chris begins to hold Jay and the casino staff accountable, all while carrying a large wood 2×4 to dispense some justice along the way. Things get ugly when the bad guys go after Deni and his deputies (including his old friend Ray, [played by Johnny Knoxville), and after some violent confrontations, (this really isn’t a spoiler) the good guys win in the end.

Dwayne Johnson and Johnny Knoxville in Walking Tall.

While the film is pretty standard action fare, and the plot fairly predictable, Johnson shows off the charisma that has made him a huge star, and the film is constantly entertaining. Johnny Knoxville provides some comic relief, and Neal McDonough is a solid bad guy. Critics weren’t so kind, however, giving it a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences were somewhat kinder, giving it a 59% rating.

The film made over $46 million at the box office, which isn’t a hit by any means, but it did prove Johnson could be a serviceable action star. Johnson followed that movie up with Doom and Gridiron Gang, which did better at the box office, and his career took off from there.

Despite its claims in the opening titles that it is based on a true story, it’s actually based on another movie that based on a true story. The film is based on the 1973 film Walking Tall, starring Joe Don Baker as Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser, who fought bootleggers and criminals in his rural county. That film was far closer to the true story, as Sheriff Pusser was known for carrying around a large piece of wood that he used on the moonshine distillers he came across.

It should be noted that Walking Tall is not available to Netflix subscribers using the new, cheaper “Basic With Ads” plan due to licensing restrictions.