So, you may have noticed Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is featured in a few big budget potential block buster movies this year. Just off the top of my head, there's "GI JOE Retaliation", "Snitch", and "Fast And Furious Six". Might not seem all that surprising. That's the kind of movies The Rock's known for, right? That started to not be the case for a while though. You may not recall some of The Brama Bull's other films such as, "Reno 911!: Miami", "Race to Witch Mountain", and "Southland Tales". And you may wish you could forget others such as "Gridiron Gang", "Tooth Fairy", and "The Other Guys". There's just a whole lot of bad when you look at the recent years' cinema for The Rock.
So, what's the big problem? Why's this guy who has obvious talent and a built in fan base keep doing crappy movies? Well, I've got a few ideas that might help. First, let's look at how he started off his movie career. There were some bit parts including a mostly CGI part in the last Mummy movie that didn't suck as the Scorpion King which then lead to his very own starring role as the same character in a prequel fittingly enough titled, "The Scorpion King". And that movie wasn't as horrible as it could have been. We saw The Rock being athletic, a little bit charismatic perhaps, and most of all (all do respect to the Hulkster) the most acting potential we've probably ever seen from a pro wrestler. He seemed to only get better with his next starring role in "The Rundown". This movie was clearly talor made for Dwayne Johnson. He was again convincingly athletic, tough, charming, and his acting seemed to have improved too. Some were starting to call him the next Arnold and even Mr. Schwarzenegger himself seemed to take note as he even had a brief cameo in the movie. I'll be honest. I was right there thinking the same things a lot of people were saying. Heck, I thought The Rock was actually a step up on Arnold. He seemed to me to be a better actor and no offense to the governator, but not having that thick accent helps too.
So, then what happened? Well, some people can switch genres and be okay. Chuck Norris for example had a brief, but still funny cameo in "Dodgeball" some years back. That worked out fine. Norris wasn't expected to start doing slap stick after that appearance or anything. He went back to selling Total Gyms (they really are pretty awesome btw) and roundhouse kicking and shooting bad guys in his own movies. The thing is that Chuck Norris was already well established. Everyone knew what he was going for and he'd accomplished a lot in his field. Same thing with actors such as John Travolta, Sandra Bullock, and Liam Neesen. These are all people who can do virtually any type of movie they want, not be type cast because of it, and go right back to making good movies. The Rock was not well established enough as an action star yet though. As a pro wrestler, yes. But those are two different things. Yet, his next acting role was a bit part in a semi funny movie called, "Be Cool". His part was actually probably the funniest of the movie. But it did seem to send mixed signals. When I saw the Rock's picture on a promo pic for the movie, I thought for a minute that it was going to be an action movie.
So, what came after that? A movie version of a very popular old computer game, "Doom". Sounded like a great idea, but it came off as a sci fi movie more than an action movie and audiences didn't take well to it. Next was a sports movie, "Gridiron Gang". Then, there was another comedy with "Reno 911", and at some point he decided to get into kids' movies. We had a string of like three in a row. And one of these couldn't help but bring back memories of that old "Mr. Nanny" movie of Hulk Hogan's. That was "Tooth Fairy". All you can really do at this point is shake your head at this. And he never seemed to stay focussed on one genre. There's something to be said of being versatile, but you need to have better focus than this. Some times, you just need to do what you know you're good at and branch out a little here and there when it's right. That hasn't been the case with The Rock and in the process it seems he's been getting worse and worse roles.
That is until this year. Now, I haven't seen a whole lot about "Snitch" and I'm far from convinced that the new GI JOE movie is going to be good (they should have left Tatum's character dead), but at least we see The Rock doing what he does best; action. And there's even plans for him to take on the role of Hercules in an upcoming movie set for 2014. You know who else starred as Hercules early in his career? Arnold. That's who. Now, I'm not saying that he should emulate all the things Schwarzenegger did and the roles he took, but its certainly better than this jumping around and doing stuff that even Hulk Hogan would have thought twice about back in the day. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has the ability and the potential to do better than both of them and to do it his way. He just needs to stay focused on the right track.
The last thing I'm going to do is just spitball a few ideas for roles that I think would be good for The Rock. First, I don't know what characters are planned for the next movie or even who he could play off the top of my head, but what about the Avengers franchise? Can you imagine seeing the Rock playing a superhero? How cool would that be. Or even just a cameo maybe where he's comparing his muscles to the Hulk or something. If you're gonna do cameos they need to be awesome. It would also be nice to see The Rock in one of the Expendibles movies. The only thing about that is it could have as good a chance of hurting his career as helping it at this point. We certainly don't need to see him play another character like the one Stone Cold Steve Austin played in the first one. Going back to Arnold and cameos for a minute, there's another Conan movie in the works and it wouldn't be completely out of the realm of possibilities one would think to see The Rock make an appearance there. Arnold is set to return in the title role and you can read a little more about that here, but it seems he and the Rock have a mutual respect and that would definitely be the kind of movie we'd want to see the Rock in. Maybe he could be something like a right hand man to the older king in Arnold's Conan. The biggest thing really is to find roles that are going to fit for The Rock and so far, I think the best one he's had was in "The Rundown". That movie has Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson written all over it. If you're an action fan and you haven't seen it, I suggest you do. And if The Rock's agent happens to see this article, I suggest you get on it man! Fix this! No more Tooth Fairies or bit parts in crappy movies! Dwayne Johnson is capable of more and we would like to see it.