Thinking of some great actors of all time, it’s not often that wrestlers are thrown into the mix as contenders. Many have tried to make the jump from the ring to the screen, but very few have succeeded. Incredible Andrew the Giantat hulk hogan, John Cenaand David Bautista… Dwayne Johnson emerges as the most successful and talented ring-to-screen transition.
Dwayne Johnson may have had a slow start with small (often scene-stealing) roles and supporting characters, but he’s one of the most wanted men in cinema today, and for good reason. He can do comedy, he can do drama, he absolutely can do action, and he’s finally made the leap into the superhero genre. He has such reach, and it goes to show why he’s the best of all the wrestlers-turned-actors.
10/10 “Red Notice”
One of his most recent hits, red notice stars Johnson alongside Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds in a gripping heist film with twists and turns and comedy. Johnson does an amazing job portraying John Hartley, an FBI agent on the hunt for an ancient jeweled egg from the first century BC. The dynamic between Johnson, Gadot and Reynolds is excellent and maintained by Johnson’s character.
Throughout the film, Johnson exhibits his acting range. He’s funny, he’s serious, he’s romantic, he really covers the whole spectrum of abilities. Johnson proves throughout the film that he’s more than just a wrestler, and even more so, that he’s more than just an amateur actor. There’s a reason he’s a leading man in film today: he’s earned it.
9/10 “Jungle Cruise”
Disney tends to make movies based on popular attractions at its theme parks. With surprisingly successful series like Pirates of the Caribbeanto less successful attempts like The haunted mansion, this most recent attempt shows the persistence of Disney. Johnson stars as Frank Wolff, a steamboat skipper who offers guided tours – much like the ride of the same name at Disneyland – with a few secrets to reveal.
With the help of Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall, Jungle Cruise taps into all the corny jokes you’ve probably heard a dozen times on the ride and really gives various aspects of the ride an amazing story. Not only does this movie touch on all the delicious emotional memories of a lifetime of experiences on the ride, but it shows that Dwayne Johnson has some very entertaining tricks up his sleeve.
8/10 “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”
While there was a lot of trepidation with this movie, several people thought it would be a bad idea to reboot a Robin Williams classic. What came out of this film, however, is truly amazing and even touches on how it honors Williams’ character Alan Parrish from the original film. Like Johnson and his co-stars (Jack Black, Kevin Hartand Karen Gillan) struggle in the jungle, they find survival clues left by Williams’ character.
This movie, call it a sequel, call it a reboot, call it what you will, turned out to be an incredibly pleasant surprise and really showed how Johnson really can play any character. While he looked alike, Johnson played the avatar of a shy, nerdy kid who was insecure. Johnson really brought those feelings to his character, and it’s an absolute joy to watch.
Even though his character was animated, it’s only fair to include this role. Maui, the demigod of wind and sea, is all Dwayne Johnson. The swagger, the goofy antics, it all oozes Johnson’s personality. Not only was Maui one of the most beloved characters in recent history, but he also helped the world see that Dwayne Johnson could sing too!
Johnson shows so much versatility in this role, and all he did was lend his voice, which shows what a terrific actor he really is. For being able to stir up the emotion he could by simply using nothing more than his voice, Dwayne Johnson is truly one of the best, and his character is so beloved that it’s spawned an upcoming Disney+ series.
Based on an arcade from the same name, Carnage follows Johnson as Davis Okoye, a former Special Forces agent and current anti-poaching soldier. An albino gorilla named George who he had befriended becomes infected with a gene-manipulating pathogen in space, mutating a lab rat, a crocodile, and finally George the albino gorilla.
If you’ve played the game, you probably could have guessed the utter chaos that would ensue, and while cheesy, it’s an incredible adaptation. Johnson’s emotional range is on display in this film, which might come as a surprise, depending on the subject matter. He really delivers an amazing performance.
5/10 “Pain and Gain”
This movie is really underrated. It features Johnson alongside Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Macky as well as several other incredibly talented actors. pain and gain follows the real-life activities of the Sun Gym gang, which was a group of bodybuilders convicted of kidnapping, torture, murder, and several other crimes in the 90s.
Although the film was not considered a huge box office hit, it showed an outstanding new version of Johnson in film. Born of good intentions, the group, led by Wahlberg, works to extort the finances of one of the gym’s newest members. Johnson plays the role to perfection, an ex-con and drug addict turned religious vigilante; the way he brings the character to life is worth it.
4/10 ‘The summary’
Dwayne Johnson really got into his acting career with The summary. This 2003 action-comedy about a bounty hunter (Johnson) sent to collect one last debt, a client’s son (Sean William Scott), before he left the company. They end up embarking on a crazy adventure in the jungles of Brazil and experience a vast cornucopia of getaways.
As one of Johnson’s first leading roles, The summary helps him shine and showcase his acting and comedian prowess. Through this movie, Johnson established himself as more than just a wrestler and more than just a supporting role actor. He’s a top-notch actor, and that movie was the start of an incredible rise to stardom.
3/10 ‘Be cool’
Written after Get Shorty, Be cool stars John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Uma Thurman, and Dwayne Johnson (among many others). Johnson stars as Eliot Wilhelm, a gay bodyguard who is also an aspiring actor who is unsuccessful in his acting. Johnson rocks the most amazing perm, and her character’s personality is quite possibly the biggest thing in the whole movie.
Johnson delivers his lines with such perfect comedic timing, and he demonstrates that he’s not just a meathead wrestler. He’s a real actor with real talent. He really carries the film. While it’s a pretty good movie, it’s Johnson’s presence that really makes it stand out.
2/10 “The Other Guys”
Despite having a very small role in the first twenty minutes of the film, Dwayne Johnson truly stole every scene he was in. the other guys. His character’s charismatic and pompous attitude, coupled with the great chemistry he had with Samuel L. Jackson, really made his brief moments in the film possibly some of the best of them all.
Johnson played a police detective alongside Jackson, and the two were an unstoppable team of absolute go-get-ems, that is, until unfortunate self-inflicted circumstances befell them. Regardless of that, however, Johnson’s moments in this film are not only some of the funniest in the film itself, but also possibly the funniest of his career.
If there ever was a quality reboot, this is it! The fact that Dwayne Johnson was named to replace David Hasselhof was such a treat for movie buffs. With the support of Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario and amazing cameos from Pamela Anderson and the head honcho himself, David Hasselhoff, this reboot really shows just how hilarious Johnson can be.
Although written as a comedy and maybe even a partial parody, this reboot of Baywatch is really a nice movie. It brings all the nostalgia of the original, including some of those original cast members, and reimagines the series with new life from new talent bringing our favorite characters to life again.
NEXT: Every Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Movie Ranked