(Credit: Aarón Sánchez)

Films

3 Dwayne Johnson films to watch instead of ‘Red Notice’

Rawson Marshall Thurber’s Red Notice was supposed to be the “biggest movie ever” with a stellar ensemble cast comprising Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot. The trailer with its brilliant cinematography and incredible visuals seemed quite promising. However, the film was an utter flop and a complete let-down- perhaps one of Netflix’s greatest flops. 

As a mockbuster, it went on to mock itself, becoming one of the worst heist films ever. The lack of an engaging storyline and palpably awkward chemistry among the leads, has led many to question Netflix’s credibility to sift good content from bad. The stars are like relaxing eye patches after an eyesore of a film. Reynolds’ goofy humour and Johnson’s stoic nature are totally out of sync and can, in no way, resuscitate the film from being a complete disaster. 

While a lot of people had high expectations of seeing Black ‘The Rock’ Adam, Wonder Woman and Deadpool in the same room, wreaking havoc, it is safe to say that they are pretty disappointed. However, Netflix does still have a good collection of Dwayne Johnson films that might help cure the post-Red Notice depression. 

Here are the 3 Dwayne Johnson films to watch on Netflix instead of Red Notice

The 3 Dwayne Johnson films to watch instead of ‘Red Notice’

3.  Fast Five (Justin Lin, 2011)

Dominic Toretto, while being taken to the prison, is saved by his sister Mia and his friend, ex-cop Brian who intercept the bus carrying him. Together, the trio travels across borders to escape capture by the authorities ever since they helped Dom evade custody. They are assigned a final task before being granted their freedom in Rio de Janeiro. Along with their elite group of car racers, they come face-to-face with their adversary, Hernan Reyes, a corrupt businessman, while being closely followed by agent Luke Hobbs. 

Amidst a stellar cast comprising Vin Diesel, Late Paul Walker, Gal Gadot and more, Dwayne Johnson stars as agent Luke Hobbs. His addition to the cast was well-received by the audience and his performance garnered critical acclaim. Although Tommy Lee Jones was considered for this role, the casting directors complied with a fan request when a girl expressed how she would love to see Diesel and Johnson work together. For playing the “best bounty hunter” on the planet, Johnson had an extensive gruelling workout regime to maintain his ripped physique. 

“That’s for my team, you son of a bitch.”

2. Pain and Gain (Michael Bay, 2013) 

Daniel Lugo is a Miami bodybuilder who is desperate to live his American Dream. He wants to be very rich and envies his gym trainee Victor Kershaw and his financial success. Desperate to live Kershaw’s life, he enlists the help of an ex-convict-turned-Christian Paul Doyle as well as fellow trainer Adrian Doorbal to take on a heinous crime.

Although they manage to kidnap Kershaw and extract his riches, their brawny brains do not know what to do with him and the group unsuccessfully tried to murder him. Soon the police catch on and Doyle has a reawakening within himself that forces him to deflect from the world of crime, threatening to disrupt Lugo’s twisted American dream.  

Based on a real incident, the events in this film are shocking and outrageous. It portrays how far someone can afford to go to live their dream. Although Bay blends in subtle humour to balance out the absurdity, the shock value remains. The talented cast comprising Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie and others add to the brilliance of the film. Johnson plays Doyle who initially gets swayed by the fast-life fuelled by sex and alcohol and gets deviated from the peaceful life he had sworn to. Yet he soon gets horrified at having bloodied his hands and gives himself up to confess. 

“Why’d you make me do that to you, Victor? I have responsibilities! Jesus Christ himself has blessed me with many gifts! One of them is knocking someone the fuck out!”

1. Gridiron Gang (Phil Joanou, 2006)

Former football player Sean Porter is a supervisor and counsellor at the Kilpatrick juvenile detention centre. Porter’s heart breaks to see such young boys let their potential go down the gutter and decides to help them find purpose by proposing to create a football team that shall play in a league. He senses a lack of self-esteem and discipline, palpable tension and resentment yet unite them, supported by his superiors, to understand the importance of team spirit. The boys gradually come around and start giving in their best in this very inspiring story. 

The film was based on a true story about a juvenile detention centre football team that had clambered its way to the state championship. The film has pretty motivating dialogues and memorable sequences, especially ones where Dwayne Johnson as Coach Porter goes out of his way to help the boys realise their self-worth. Johnson paid tribute to his college career in football by wearing the number 94. 

“You do it my way, not your way. Your way got you here and you’re here because you lost. Right now you are all losers, but if you accept this challenge and stick with the program, you are all going to be winners at the end.”