This year, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is appearing in approximately 347 films. His screen time in this summer’s blockbusters is longer than the reign of Queen Victoria, and only Kevin Bacon (in those disappointingly bad EE adverts) will be seen by more pairs of eyeballs in darkened cinema screens across the land.
This is no happy accident though, rather it is the result of over a decade of hard work and bucketfuls of natural charisma that have led to the first true wrestling/Hollywood crossover action star. You have to admire the way that Johnson has put in a hard shift at the acting coalface, biding his time in an assortment of ropey children’s films like Tooth Fairy and Race to Witch Mountain, and honing his skills in small unconventional roles in films as diverse as Be Cool and Southland Tales.
Where he seems most at home though, is in the action genre. His film debut as the Scorpion King in 2001’s The Mummy Returns led to a woeful spin-off film, but even when left high and dry by a terrible script and lacklustre direction there is a genuine glint of stardust in the shit. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger before him, Johnson is a giant slab of muscle with a great sense of humour and a winning smile. Recent performances though, have suggested a greater depth of performance that could be the missing piece of the action star jigsaw that has been incomplete for so long.
Interestingly, Johnson has made a recent habit out of resurrecting franchises that should by rights have been long consigned to the great bargain bin in the sky. First with the Fast and Furious films, then the Journey series, and more recently with GI Joe: Retaliation. It’s not just franchises he is single-handedly resurrecting, and this summer he has achieved the near impossible by getting someone other than teenage boys excited about a Michael Bay film.
With that in mind, here are a few more moribund film series that I think Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson could infinitely improve:
The original was one of Stephen Spielberg’s best films, but the series went rapidly downhill after that. With Jurassic Park 4 in the pipeline, who better than The Rock to add a touch of kick-ass action to the mix. The only problem being the films’ inherent implausibility and complete lack of scientific grounding in fact. I mean, there’s obviously no way a T-Rex could withstand a People’s Elbow.
Aliens v Predator
It would take an infinite amount of monkeys an infinite amount of time to explain how two brilliant franchises combined to produce such a bad collection of spin-off films. It’s time for The Rock to resurrect this bafflingly bad, but so full of promise franchise. For the first time, Aliens and Predators must combine forces to defeat the most deadly force in the the universe…the Rock Bottom.
The worst thing about these dreadful films is the hour and a bit of watching some unlikeable fuckwits wander around a house while nothing happens. How about we watch The Rock chilling out at home for 90 minutes, and then he punches a ghost in the face. Box office gold.
Tell us which films you’d love to see Dwayne Johnson ‘rock’ up in. Is there a single film that wouldn’t be improved by his presence?