Selected Filmography: Dwayne Johnson

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Everyone in Hollywood has to have “smelled what The Rock is cooking” by now. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and is seemingly everywhere these days. Just this summer he starred in the blockbuster film San Andreas and now is featured in the hit HBO series Ballers. Johnson is poised to be one of the biggest actors in Hollywood for years to come. He is set to play Black Adam in the DC Comics film Shazam! and Jack Burton in the remake of the cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. And that is only a couple of the roles Johnson has lined up in the future.

But despite his huge success in recent years, Johnson has been acting in films now since 2001. And a lot of his earlier efforts have been forgotten since he became a top actor. But in this selected filmography, I will list my top ten films from the career of the former WWE Superstar. I did intentionally leave out all of his appearances in the Fast and Furious series to be able to have a bigger range of films on this list. He was great in those movies as well, but this list focuses on the rest of his work.

Actually, for that matter, I also left out his brief, but hilarious spot in Reno 911!: Miami as Rick Smith. And if you haven’t seen that or don’t remember it, here you go:

10. Hercules (2014) – Johnson’s 2014 film was a huge blockbuster release, but I didn’t think the movie lived up to the hype. Playing the title character, Johnson showed off his unique physique as the demigod set out to take down a tyrannical leader. The movie was good, but not what I was expecting. Still, Johnson did a great job in the role and made the most out of it.

9. The Scorpion King (2002) – This was Johnson’s first leading role and it was based off of the character that he portrayed in The Mummy Returns. Johnson plays Mathayus, a desert warrior that fights against an evil army to try and protect his homeland. The movie was good and Johnson was good in the role, but this film doesn’t hold up to many of Johnson’s other efforts.

8. The Mummy Returns (2001) – Overall this was a very good movie, but I had to rank it lower because of Johnson’s limited screen time as The Scorpion King, a legendary warrior who has an army of the dead that Imhotep wants control of. This was Johnson’s very first film and started what would become a great career.

7. Snitch (2013) – In Snitch, Johnson plays John Matthews, a father who goes undercover for the DEA to try to free his son, who was imprisoned after being set up in a drug deal. Johnson showed some range playing this character and I thought it was a good film overall, but not great. I applaud Johnson for taking a role a little different than the norm, but the movie could have been much better than it turned out.

6. Pain & Gain (2013) – Dwayne Johnson played Paul Doyle, an ex-convict bodybuilder in the true story of Daniel Lugo. In the movie, Lugo, Doyle, and another bodybuilder want to live the American dream and kidnap a wealthy man to try and extort money from him. Their plan doesn’t go as well as they hoped and must try to find a way to get out of the situation they created. This was a good movie and Johnson gave a solid performance.

5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013) – Johnson played Roadblock in the second G.I. Joe film and basically lead the entire movie. This movie, along with his role in the Fast and Furious series solidified Johnson as an action movie star. His portrayal of Roadblock was great and made this film way better than its predecessor.

4. Be Cool (2005) – Be Cool is a great, underrated movie and Johnson’s role of Elliot Wilhelm was fantastic. I would have ranked it much higher, but Johnson has a limited role in a movie filled with stars. Wilhelm is the gay bodyguard of Vince Vaughn’s character. Johnson should a huge range in this role and made Wilhelm one of the best characters in the movie.

3. Walking Tall (2004) – In this remake of the 1973 cult classic, Johnson plays the lead character of Chris Vaughn, a former U.S. soldier who returns to his hometown only to realize that it is overrun by corruption. Not wanting to see his hometown destroyed by this, he takes action into his own hands and starts to clean up the city that he loves. Johnson was great in his role and deserves more recognition for this often-forgotten film.

2. The Rundown (2003) – This film is often ignored but is actually a great movie with a nice blend of action, excitement and comedy. Johnson plays Beck, an aspiring chef who is hired by a mobster to bring his son home from the Amazon. But when he gets there, he becomes involved in the town’s fight against oppression and their search for an ancient treasure. Johnson, alongside Seann William Scott, Christopher Walken, and Rosario Dawson, make this a fun and adventurous film that I can watch just about whenever.

1. Gridiron Gang (2006) – In this gripping movie about a group of juvenile teenagers starting a football team, Johnson plays Sean Porter, their coach. He guides this group of troubled teens and teaches them lessons about life and working together. This true story is an inspiring film that is highly underrated in annals of sports movies and is a must-see for people who enjoyed films like Remember the Titans, Express, or Invincible. Johnson was really good in the role of Porter, the coach and mentor of this troubled group of kids.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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