The Rock is evolving. Ever since he was able to successfully make people start calling him “Dwayne Johnson”, for reasons beyond me, he’s kinda been taking over everything in entertainment. I mean at this point if you type “The Rock” into imdb he’s not even the top resul, instead it’s Nicolas Cage's 1996 thrill ride The Rock where him and Sean Connery sneak into Alcatraz to stop an elite but betrayed former special ops unit from blowing up San Francisco with lethal nuclear weapons. Fantastic film. And even more unbelievable than an ex-con (Sean Connery) and nuclear weapon specialist (Nic Cage) foiling the plans of one of America’s most decorated generals (Ed Harris) is what The Rock, I will never call him Dwayne, has been able to do in Hollywood over the past handful of years.
In 2010 I thought he had hit his ceiling. He was in solid, watchable, low budget movies playing either an athlete or some type of bodyguard (The Game Plan, Gridiron Gang, Walking Tall, The Tooth Fairy..). Then, for some reason he got a call from the big leagues and got to play Hobbs in Fast Five. Cut to, he’s the biggest thing since sliced gluten free bread. Somehow, he turned the Fast and Furious gang from an auto-body shop crew to an elite crime stopping task force that men, women, and children flock to the theaters to see. And now The Rock is thinking about running for President, and he’s not joking. Can you imagine hearing that back when he was the Scorpion King and racing to Witch Mountain? We would’ve laughed at him so hard he’d be sent back on another Journey to the Center of the Earth (Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon coming out this summer btw).
Even though he’s been able to accomplish so much in Hollywood over the past several years, it’s clear that in 2018 The Rock’s attempting to evolve into his final form. First there was WWE star The Rock, then there was mediocre movie star The Rock, and now he’s attempting to pull a Schwarzenegger and become Dwayne Johnson, the icon.
It’s not just the fact that he’s setting his sights on the oval office. His hubris can best be seen and understood in his upcoming movie Rampage. In it, The Rock plays a primatologist (monkey doctor) who’s best friend, a white gorilla, grows to the size of King Kong after touching a mysterious object that has fallen from the sky. Not that crazy, right? Nothing ridiculous about a giant ape movie, forget about all the King Kong movies, I mean Mighty Joe Young is a classic!
What tips Rampage into ridiculousness is that the gorilla isn’t the only super-sized animal. Instead, the giant gorilla has to fight a giant wolf and giant crocodile. It’s not like supersized animals battling to the death is an original idea. Monster sized animals have been dueling on-screen for decades. Tune into the syfy channel around midday on a Tuesday and you can find classics like Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus or Dinocroc vs Supergator, they won’t disappoint.
Yet somehow The Rock is attempting to take these ridiculous effect driven money grabs out of the syfy channel cesspool and onto the big screen. What’s next, a remake of Jumanji that has nothing at all to do with the original? Damn! It’s already been done! And it’s fantastic, hilarious, fun for the whole family! If Rampage goes the way of Jumanji and makes hundreds of millions, then we will know The Rock has evolved into his final form and officially can not be stopped.
What’s crazy is I’m probably going to love Rampage. A wolf the size of a skyscraper fighting King Kong? Yeah, I’m in. So the moral of the story is that it’s all over. Next year I’ll probably have a shaved head and gnarly tribal tats with a #Dwayne4Prez bumper sticker. Until then, resist the urge to buy tickets for San Andreas 2 (how can there possibly be a sequel?) and his attempt to save DC Comics in Suicide Squad 2. People were asking for that, right?