RANKED! The Best Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Movies Before ‘Hobbs & Shaw’
Photo: Original Film
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a bonafide superstar in Hollywood today. While it is far from unusual for athletes to transition to acting, he started out in the sports-entertainment hybrid that is the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (then known as the World Wrestling Foundation). This experience gave him a unique edge over contemporaries like former NBA players Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan.
The Rock set a framework with his transition, one that has been followed with varying success by public figures like Dave Bautista and Ronda Rousey. In any case, he has carved a memorable place for himself in this era of bloated blockbuster franchises. As we anxiously await his first Fast & Furious spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw—in which he stars opposite Jason Statham—here are his 10 best films to date.
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10. 'Fighting with My Family' (2019)
The Rock's latest film likely hit close to home for him, as it tells the true story of a British family obsessed with the WWE. Two siblings, Paige (Florence Pugh) and Zak Knight (Jack Lowden) are both partners and opponents as they try to rise up the wrestling ranks to the big time. It is a surprisingly affecting film about the trials and tribulations of working to achieve one's dreams, and what must be sacrificed to do so. The Rock is thoroughly enjoyable in the role as himself.
9. 'The Game Plan' (2007)
The Game Plan is a live-action Walt Disney Pictures film so sweet it's cavity-inducing. The Rock plays a brash football star and playboy, Joe Kingman, whose life is turned completely upside-down by the arrival of his apparent daughter (Madison Pettis). He has to learn the delicate ins and outs of fatherhood, all the while trying to lead his team to the championship.
8. 'Skyscraper' (2018)
Skyscraper is one of the more outlandish entries to The Rock's film canon so far. It's an uncanny recreation of Die Hard cranked up to 11. The Rock plays Will Sawyer, a disabled former tier-one operator who now oversees the security of the tallest building in China; that is, until he finds himself and his family in serious danger when terrorists invade and set the building ablaze. Will must face insurmountable odds to put a stop to them and save his loved ones before it's too late.
7. 'San Andreas' (2015)
San Andreas is in the grand tradition of the disaster movie. When the titular fault line creates a devastating earthquake, The Rock's protagonist, Ray Gaines, a Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter pilot, battles the forces of nature to reconnect with his family, his wife (Carla Gugino) and his daughter (Alexandra Daddario), with whom he is estranged. What it lacks in subtlety it more than makes up for in pure spectacle.
6. 'Get Smart' (2008)
For a time, you couldn't make a trip to the theater without seeing a poster or trailer for a film adaptation of an old television show, whether it be The A-Team, Bewitched or The Honeymooners. Even Get Smart, a relatively esoteric spy comedy, got its chance at the silver screen. It is a genuinely funny bit of empty-calorie entertainment, led by Anne Hathaway as the skilled Agent 99 and Steve Carell—who was at the height of his comedic potential—as the hapless new agent Maxwell Smart. The Rock rounds out the cast as the hyper-masculine Agent 23 who is bound to desk duty after an identity leak at their headquarters.
5. 'The Mummy Returns' (2001)
The 1999 version of The Mummy was nothing short of a hit, back when Brendan Fraser was a legitimately hot box office commodity. The Rock found his feature film debut in The Mummy's first sequel, The Mummy Returns. He plays the Scorpion King, an undead Pharaoh who desires to have his birthright returned to him. The film launched the Rock's career in cinema as well as a franchise of spin-off films about the Scorpion King.
4. 'The Fate of the Furious' (2017)
For being the first entry to the franchise after Paul Walker's untimely passing, The Fate of the Furious does a good enough job of regaining its footing. One of its saving graces is indeed The Rock himself. He gets a great deal to do, playing off of his former-enemy-begrudgingly-turned-ally, Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw, in a very satisfying way.
3. 'Fast Five' (2011)
The Rock's debut in the Fast & Furious franchise is blood-pumping excitement to be sure. He makes for a great foil to Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto and Paul Walker's Brian O'Connor as Luke Hobbs. Hobbs is a federal agent sent to hunt them down after Brian and Dom's sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) help him escape from a prison transfer. The Rock fits so well in the world of Fast & Furious that you can't help but wonder what took them so long to hire him.
2. 'Furious 7' (2015)
Furious 7 bids tearful farewell to the recently-deceased Paul Walker. Horror master James Wan does so with the help of a gifted team of special effects artists. He does so in surprisingly satisfying fashion, considering the story had to be massively rewritten after the fact to send off Walker in a way the filmmakers saw fitting. Now Luke Hobbs has been brought entirely into the fold of the "family" and is hit with a cheap shot by Deckard Shaw (Statham), who is out for revenge, but Hobbs doesn't stay on the metaphorical mat for long.
1. 'Fast & Furious 6' (2013)
Justin Lin's Fast & Furious 6 remains the pinnacle of the franchise's achievement, with genuine competition only in Lin's own Fast & Furious spinoff, Tokyo Drift. Luke Hobbs is forced to enlist now-fugitives Dom and his "family" to help him bring down an even greater threat: Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his team of high-speed terrorists. It is as high-adrenaline as these films come.