Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s star has risen, again! Johnson returned to the spotlight of World Wrestling Entertainment in 2012, is once again the reining WWE Champion, and has ten feature film titles coming in the next two years! Talk about a man on top of the world. He’s guaranteed a spot in the main event of WWE’s “Show of Shows” (WrestleMania 29) this year, and has recently confirmed he’ll partake in WrestleMania XXX next year in New Orleans. In addition to the ‘Mania, he’s part of two hotly anticipated Hollywood franchise sequels coming soon to theaters: GI Joe: Retaliation (due out Mar. 29) and Fast & Furious 6 (summer 2013).
I’m not sure there’s anything The Rock can’t do but I am sure a TOPS list of The Rock’s 10 best movies (to date) is in order – so let’s smell what The Rock’s been cookin’.
10. Be Cool (2005) – domestic gross: $103 million
The Rock struck comedy gold being cast alongside stars like Vince Vaughn, Danny DeVito, John Travolta, and Uma Thurman. Despite being a top-billed star, The Rock was a supporting character named Elliot – a gay Samoan bodyguard! The film is commendable for The Rock’s choice in role, despite receiving a negative
9. Race to Witch Mountain (2009) – domestic gross: $67 million
His performance as Jack Bruno, an ex-con turned cabbie earned The Rock praise from major publications including Entertainment Weekly and mega critic Roger Ebert who said “Dwayne Johnson has a very
likable screen presence and is a good choice for an innocuous family entertainment like this.” In the movie, Jack Bruno hires a UFO expert to help him protect two siblings with paranormal powers from the grasp of an
organization intent on using the two in their evil scheme.
8. Walking Tall (2004) – domestic gross: $46 million
One of The Rock’s first major roles, Walking Tall is about a former U.S. soldier who returns home to find his hometown overrun with crime and corruption. Chris Vaughn (Rock) and pal Ray Templeton (Johnny Knoxville) take on the kingpin, and former high school classmate Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough), after Vaughn’s nephew overdoses on drugs supplied by Hamilton’s casino gangsters.
7. The Game Plan (2007) – domestic gross: $90 million
An NFL player, living the life of a big-city bachelor, learns he has an 8 year-old daughter from a previous
relationship. It’s a feel-good story that saw The Rock take performance risks that showed his more compassionate, softer side.
6. Fast Five (2011) – domestic gross: $209 million
Continuing to be one of America’s most exciting current action stars, The Rock joined the Fast & Furious franchise
to collide with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel! As Luke Hobbs, The Rock was tasked with “hunting” Brian O’Connor and Dom Toretto in Rio De Janeiro. Reports state that The Rock underwent a strict physical regiment to appear as a “hunter” who would be a credible threat to the protagonists Brian (Walker) and Dom (Diesel).
5. Planet 51 (2009) – domestic gross: $42 million
In this intergalactic 50’s themed animation, The Rock lends his voice and breathes life into Captain Charles “Chuck” T. Baker, an astronaut who lands on Planet 51. Thinking he’s the first person to step foot on the planet, he’s surprised to learn that the world around him is inhabited by little green people who fear their planet will be overrun by humans (the aliens in this movie).
4. Gridiron Gang (2006) – domestic gross: $38 million
It was in this movie that critics really began to notice The Rock’s acting abilities. He portrays Sean Porter, a former football star turned juvenile officer. As a juvenile officer, he helps those in the detention center gain confidence and forge friendships by playing football together. In fact, USA Today declared that The Rock was “the best thing about Gridiron Gang…”
3. Get Smart (2008) – domestic gross: $130 million
Based on the television comedy series, The Rock (as Agent 23) joined Steve Carrell, Anne Hathaway, and Alan Arkin in a spy comedy. In the film, The Rock assumes an unusual role as a double agent (and antagonist) working for both the secret American spy agency, CONTROL, and the Russian agency KAOS. Not to metion, it’s one of the only films where his character gets the proverbial “axe!”
2. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) – domestic gross: $103 million
In the sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Rock shares the screen with acting legend Michael Caine, Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson, and Vanessa Hudgens. He picks up in the franchise where Brendan
Fraser left off and guides his step-son Sean (Hutcherson) to a mysterious island to find his grandfather (Caine). The Rock displays his great comedic timing and manages to add some physicality to the humor – anyone else remember the “pec pop of love?…go on, throw a berry.”
1. The Scorpion King (2002) – domestic gross: $91 million
After making a cameo in The Mummy Returns, The Rock’s character, The Scorpion King, received an “origins” treatment. Released in 2002, this film catapulted The Rock’s movie star career, and remains one of his top-grossing films to date.
There you have it, a TOPS list dedicated to the jabroni beating, pie-eating, trail-blazing, eyebrow-raising character known as The Rock. As an actor, The Rock’s movies gross an average of $74 million per title, making him one of the most successful working actors today. He’s an action star and a warm personality that people love to love. He’s proven time and time again that he’s a great leading man, and a bankable star, now if only we could get him an Oscar worthy role. Now it’s your turn to sound off – what do you think of the list? Are there movies you think should be here that aren’t, or do you remember most of these fondly? How about The Rock as an Oscar contender? Let me hear you!