There is a moment in this past summer’s The Fate Of The Furious+ where *Dwayne Johnson's** character, FBI Agent Luke Hobbs, is driving on the ice like everyone else, opens his car door, leans out to scoop up a torpedo that had been fired their way, and throws it back at the enemy (in a submarine!), blowing them all to hell. Honestly, it’s so ridiculous and over the top that it should be laughable... but it’s not. The reason we applaud it? It’s because Dobbs, or actually the man who plays him, looks like he’s having as much fun as the audience is.
Dwayne Johnson — it’s still difficult not to write “The Rock” between his first and last name — has quietly become one of Hollywood’s top action stars, using equal doses of humor, bravado and charm to draw in the audience whether he’s doing a comedy, straight action or a combination of the two. It’s a formula that’s caused audiences to get behind him in a major way, and beyond the release of this December’s Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, he’s already lining up the next wave of Dwayne Johnson adventures. In 2018, there’s Rampage (“The military springs into action when three gigantic, mutated monsters embark on a path of destruction,” says IMDB) and Skyscraper (no plot yet, but it’s supposedly about a hostage situation in China — given the title, it sounds kind of like Die Hard to us).
Beyond that, there’s the promise of the rumored remake of Kurt Russell’s Big Trouble In Little China, the filmed adventures of pulp hero Doc Savage, sequels to San Andreas and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Disney’s Jungle Cruise, rumors of a Fast spin-off featuring him and Jason Statham; and his first step into the world of superheroes — or in this case super-anti-heroes — as DC Comics' Black Adam in Shazam!. But while we’re waiting for those, what follows is a guide to each of his movies beginning with 2001’s The Mummy Returns.
The Mummy Returns (2001)
It’s 10 years after the first film. The setting is London, 1935. Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) are raising their son, thinking they’ve put adventure behind them. Not so much. Arnold Vosloo returns as the resurrected Imhotep, and along the way they encounter Dwayne Johnson’s The Scorpion King, presented via some really cheesy CG.
The Scorpion King (2002)
Okay, this is the prequel to the sequel of the remake of The Mummy. Set 5,000 years in the past, the film tells the tale of the Egyptian warrior known as the Scorpion King. Dwayne plays the title character, also known as Mathayus, who is a hired mercenary brought in to take down a tyrannical ruler.
The Rundown (2003)
Dwayne is Beck, a cook who also happens to be a hell of a bounty hunter, and he’s brought in to track down Travis (Seann William Scott) by his father, which takes him to the Amazon. Once there, he encounters a vicious treasure hunter (played by Christopher Walken), who has enslaved the people. Romantic heat is provided by Rosario Dawson as a rebel. This one is underrated: great fun watching Dwayne and Walken together.
Walking Tall (2004)
A remake of the ‘70s low budget hit. Dwayne Johnson is soldier Chris Vaughn who returns from war in Washington to find that that the lumber mill has been shut down and a corrupt casino has opened in its place. He attempts to fight back against local crime and corruption, but finds that he’s a man nearly standing alone in the shadow of that corruption. Needless to say, he decides to take action on his own (and is anyone surprised?).
Be Cool (2005)
This is the sequel to Get Shorty (with John Travolta reprising his role of Chili Palmer) that pretty much everyone hates. However, one saving grace for many was the casting of Dwayne Johnson as a gay bodyguard who dreams of becoming a singer/actor/model.
The Rapid Response Tactical Squad, a team of space marines led by Dwayne as Sarge, heads to Mars where they end up taking on a human injected with alien DNA that has gone berserk.
Gridiron Gang (2006)
Can the inmates of a juvenile detention center be whipped together to become a winning football team? With Dwayne Johnson as their coach? What do you think?
Southland Tales (2006)
A movie star (Dwayne), porn actress (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and policeman (Seann William Scott — reunited with his The Rundown co-star) come together in a dystopian future to try and prevent a nuclear attack on the future America they live in.
Reno 911: Miami (2007)
The moronic cops from the Reno Police Department are back, somehow finding themselves in the position of having to stop terrorists from launching a bio-chemical attack (don’t ask us). Dwayne cameos as Agent Rick “The Condor” Smith.
The Game Plan (2007)
Football hero Joe Kingman (Dwayne) has everything going his way — until he suddenly discovers e's got a daughter that resulted from a bit of bedroom time with his ex-wife. Now he has to learn to become a father while maintaining his career. Can he do both? We ain't tellin'.
Get Smart (2008)
The classic spy sitcom from the 1960s gets a successful updating with Steve Carrell as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99. Dwayne plays Max's best friend and fellow agent. There had been talk of a sequel, but it never materialized.
Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
Las Vegas taxi driver Jack Bruno (Dwayne) finds his life changed forever when he picks up a pair of alien (as in extraterrestrial) teens who must reach their spaceship (which is buried within Witch Mountain) to ward of an alien invasion.
Tooth Fairy (2010)
Hockey player Derek Thompson has earned the name "tooth fairy" by the fact that he tends to break some of the teeth of his opponents. His life goes in an unexpected direction when, as a result of a court case, he finds himself sentenced to carry out the actions of a tooth fairy — wearing wings and carrying a "magic" wand. Brace yourself, life lessons are coming!
The Other Guys (2010)
The focus of the film is on bumbling cops Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Holtz (Mark Wahlberg), but while Dwayne's Christopher Danson is held up as a model cop, even he might be able to learn something from a couple of dopes.
You Again (2010)
The plot of this one doesn't matter, since Dwayne is only featured in a cameo. He portrays an air marshal and doesn't even get the credit for doing so. Poor Dwayne.
After spending a decade in prison, Dwayne's character of Driver is released and he immediately sets out to get revenge against the people who murdered his brother. He doesn't get far before he finds himself being followed by a veteran cop (played by Billy Bob Thornton) and an assassin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).
Fast Five (2011)
The Fast And Furious gang is intent on pulling off one more heist (five films into this series) which brings them to Rio de Janeiro. Dwayne makes his debut as the federal agent in pursuit of them, Hobbs. By the way, play this game and take a look at Dwayne's position on the poster above. See how he's off to the side? Now watch how that changes with each Fast film.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)
Josh Hutcherson is the 17-year-old Sean Anderson, who, after received a message of distress from an island that shouldn't exist, is accompanied by his stepfather (Dwayne), a pilot and the pilot's daughter as he attempts to uncover the mystery. On the island, they face all sorts of bizarre things, including dinosaurs.
When businessman John Matthews (that would be Dwayne) attempts to get his son freed from jail (for something he never should have been convicted of), he finds himself inadvertently in danger when he uncovers a powerful force within the Mexican drug trade.
Empire State (2013)
A security guard (Liam Hemsworth) and his childhood pal (Michael Angarano) make plans to rob an armored car. Dwayne's James Ransone, a New York City police detective, continues doggedly on their trail no matter how much they try to lose him.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
While the members of G.I. Joe (including Dwayne as second-in-command Roadblock) continue their battle with enemy organization Cobra, they suddenly find that they're struggling for their lives from factions within the U.S. government as well. You ask us, that doesn't seem very fair.
Pain & Gain (2013)
Describes Google, "Danny Lupo (Mark Wahlberg), manager of the Sun Gym in 1990s Miami, decides that there is only one way to achieve his version of the American dream: extortion. To achieve his goal, he recruits musclemen Paul (Dwayne Johnson) and Adrian (Anthony Mackie) as accomplices." Needless to say, things go south. This is actually based (loosely) on a series of 1999 articles that appeared in the Miami New Times.
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Trying to take down lethal mercenary drivers (who knew there was such a thing?), Dwayne's Agent Hobbs finds himself having to seek the help of Dom (Vin Diesel) and the rest of his gang, promising them pardons if they're successful. The poster game continues: take a look at Dwayne's position on this one: he's still off to the side, but he's getting closer to the foreground. Nowhere near Vin, but definitely inching his way up.
Growing jaded with the ancient world he lives in, Hercules (Dwayne) decides to look out for himself and becomes a mercenary. And then he comes across a kindly ruler and his daughter, who are threatened by a dangerous warlord. Compassion stirring within him, Herc has to learn to become a hero again.
Furious 7 (2015)
International terrorist Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) has been taken down, but now Dom and the rest of the gang must deal with Shaw's brother, Deckard (Jason Statham). Kurt Russell plays a government operative who works with them to take Deckard down, and Hobbs finds himself having to work aside his former adversaries. Now, before you move on, check out the image above. Vin Diesel may be in the center as the star of the franchise, but Dwayne's ever-increasing popularity has resulted in his being to the left, in the foreground. Ha!
San Andreas (2015)
When a magnitude 9 earthquake hits California's San Andreas fault, the state is plunged into chaos. In comes LAFD search-and-rescue helicopter pilot Ray Gaines (one guess who plays him), who fights against nature to get his estranged wife and daughter to safety.
Central Intelligence (2016)
Overweight and bullied as a teen, Bob Stone (Dwayne) arrives at his high school reunion looking muscular and full of confidence. There he finds and enlists the aid of accountant Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart)Bullied as a teen for being overweight, Bob Stone (Dwayne Johnson) shows up to his high school reunion looking fit and muscular. While there, he finds Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart), a fast-talking accountant. Bob reveals himself to be a CIA agent and needs Calvin's help in saving the U.S. spy satellite system. May not sound like much, but there's real heart to this one and lots of laughs.
Fun, music and heart come together in what is yet another example of Disney animation at its best. Here's how the studio describes this one: "An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity." Dwayne definitely holds his own in this one, and his "singing" has quite a bit of charm.
The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Hobbs and the rest of Dom's gang team up to try and stop Dom, who seems to be under the sway of a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) and could become a threat to national security. More importantly: look at the poster! Yes, Vin remains in the foreground, but now he's off to the side and Dwayne is center. The man keeps rolling on...like a rock (sorry).
The "classic" TV series is turned into a parody film, with Dwayne taking on the David Hasselhoff role of Mitch Buchannon, who leads the team of elite lifeguards. Zac Efron is newbie Matt Brody. Initially they seem very different from each other, but find some common ground as they attempt to stop a threat to their beloved bay.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
Things begin when four high school kids in detention are given the task of cleaning out the school basement, and, while doing so, they find an old video game console. Turning it on, they pick characters they want to be and as the game starts, they find themselves somehow drawn into that fantasy world. Suddenly they are their avatars (retaining their personalities, which go completely against what they look like now) and they discover that rather than play Jumanji, the challenge is actually surviving it. And surviving is the only way they can hope to return home. Along the way they find that they have to discover what Robin Williams' Alan Parrish from the first film left behind, and change the way they look at themselves and treat others.
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