xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
Buford Pusser, you will recall, is the Tennessee sheriff who combined Lester Maddox's ax handle with Estes Kefauver's populism and John Wayne's heroism in "Walking Tall," a movie eventually seen by 35 million people. I was not among them. I was out of town at the time.
Still, duty calls, and over the weekend I went to see "Part Two Walking Tall." I don't know what I expected, but what I found, to my surprise, was a wellcrafted action film with some good performances and a nice feeling for its characters. After suffering through a summer of Good Old Boys (of whom the least bearable was Joe Don Baker, the original Buford Pusser, in "Mitchell"), here at last is a movie about people whose personalities and motivations seem halfway plausible.
That's largely because of Bo Svenson, who stepped in to play the lead after Buford Pusser, having just signed up to play himself in his first movie role, ran his sports car over an embankment in an excess of enthusiasm (Joe Don Baker was presumably not available for the sequel because he was shadowboxing his way through "Mitchell"). Svenson is a tall (6foot5) newcomer who player Robert Redford's pal in "The Great Waldo Pepper" and died in a burning airplane. This time he's the star doesn't die until the epilog.
What he does do is bring a certain level of ethical stubbornness to the movie. "Part Two Walking Tall" has its violence yes, but it's not an exploitation movie, and Pusser, as played by Svenson, seems like a pretty level headed sort. He's out to avenge the death of his wife.