“What’s the key to success? The key is, there is no key. Be humble, hungry, and the hardest worker in any room.”
If you do not know who Dwayne Johnson is, you are probably living under a Rock – pun very much intended. Johnson, better known as his WWE alter ego, looks like the toughest guy yet has the kindest heart. Regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers, the Rock has various achievements below his belt including having played football, engaged in wrestling as well as acted in and produced various films. He is one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors and his determination, extensive healthcare and workout routine as well as perseverance is motivating for people all over the world.
Born on May 2, 1972, his father was a professional wrestler as well. Growing up, he played rugby and was always a part of the rowdy bunch as he was arrested multiple times for offences like fighting, fraud as well as theft. He was a part of the gridiron football, wrestling and athletics teams; in the future, he would go on to star in a film where he served as a guidance counsellor to the juvenile boys in a detention centre where he would unite them to play as a team. He played defensive tackle and accepted a fully-funded football scholarship to the University of Miami after which he pursued his career as a professional wrestler that amassed his immense popularity and a cult fan following. Despite initial hiccups, Johnson eventually rose to this superstar stature with his subsequent wins and still continues to be a famous name in the wrestling circuit, although he appears sporadically, concentrating more on his showbiz career.
The Rock was a regular face for small-time roles before making his on-screen debut in That ‘70s Show, where he portrayed his own father. He hosted Saturday Night Live in 2000 before getting called back four times due to his effortless on-screen hilarity and charm. His theatrical career began with The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, The Rundown and more, and Johnson has not looked back ever since. Johnson has since then appeared in many films and started a successful production company as well. He will soon be seen in the 2021 film Red Notice as well as in Jungle Cruise alongside Emily Blunt. Johnson is a famous multi-tasker who successfully juggles multiple projects and accommodates them within his busy schedule. While it does become an eyesore at times to see him in films more than once a year, we gotta love ourselves some Rock, right?
Here, let us take a look at the 5 best films starring Dwayne Johnson that are currently streaming on Netflix.
Dwayne Johnson’s 5 best films on Netflix
5. Skyscraper (Rawson Marshall Thurber, 2018)
Former leader of the FBI Hostage Rescue team, Will Sawyer had lost his left leg in a hostage situation. Ten years later, he works as a private security consultant and is entrusted with the safekeeping of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong. However, when the building bursts into flames and his family are trapped inside, Sawyer tries to save them while trying to prove his innocence as he is constantly being framed for it. Soon he uncovers ruthless mercenaries, sinister adversaries as well as vicious conspiracies that have led to this disaster and shows unbelievable strength and courage when he enters the building to save his loved ones from the all-consuming, destructive fire.
While the film is not as defining or ground-breaking as films such as Die Hard, Skyscraper is fascinating and enjoyable. Who wouldn’t enjoy seeing Dwayne Johnson jumping off a high lift onto the burning building? He is buff, his shirt can barely hold itself together much like the plot in the middle of the film. It somehow feels a little stretched yet is interesting due to the small twists and turns peppered throughout the film. Overall, Sawyer’s devotion to his family and desperation to save them serves as the Rock of this film. Get it?
“If you can’t fix it with duct tape… you ain’t using enough duct tape.”
4. The Scorpion King (Chuck Russell, 2002)
Set in ancient Gomorrah nearly thousands of years before the Pyramids, the nomadic tribes are conquered by the tyrannical Memnon. When Mathayus, an Akkadian and an assassin, is assigned the duty of executing Memnon, he initially fails and loses his brother and friend to Memnon’s forces. He vows to avenge the death of his brother and returns with new, powerful allies and infiltrates the impenetrable fortress of Gomorrah. Along with Memnon’s fortune-teller Cassandra and the tribal warrior Balthazar, he engages in a ferocious fight with Memnon’s forces before fulfilling his destiny of being the mighty Scorpion King.
Dwayne Johnson proved his calibre by engaging in impossible stunts that require immense agility. He was paid quite handsomely, his salary being the highest one according to the Guinness Book of Records for a first-time leading man. He breathed life into his character, adding a different dimension that added the entertainment factor to an otherwise fairly predictable film. High on martial arts, CGI and immensely agile scenes, the film is shouldered forward by the Rock’s sheer dedication and fortitude as a leading man.
“I may be a king, but I’m a wrestler first.”
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 Janerio. 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. Although they manage to kidnap Kershaw and extract his riches, their brawny brains do not know what to do with him and unsuccessfully tries 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.”