The Rock: Ranking the Worst Movies of His Acting Career so Far

Sharon GlencrossContributor IJanuary 29, 2013

The Rock: Ranking the Worst Movies of His Acting Career so Far

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    OK, so Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has indisputably had more success in Hollywood than anyone else in wrestling history. Hey, he even managed to make Forbes magazine's recent list of the industry's highest paid actors.    

    But, like most successful actors, he has had a few mis-steps and errors on his way to the A list stardom. Yes, for all his charisma, Johnson has a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to picking scrips.

    And, with this in mind, here are the worst five films of Johnson's career. That he managed to bounce back from these disasters is a testament to his talent and ability.

    Dwayne, what were you thinking?

5. Walking Tall

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    In 2004, Johnson starred in Walking Tall, a crime thriller about a tough, no-nonsense sheriff who takes on the drug dealers and rampant corruption in his home town.

    Trashed heavily by critics, Walking Tall performed only modestly at the box office upon its release (via Box Office Mojo).  

    Truth to be told, Walking Tall isn't too awful, nor is Johnson unconvincing in the lead role. The problem is, the film just can't seem to decide if it wants to be a violent, brutal revenge flick or a fun popcorn PG13 thriller. The whole endeavour is dragged down by a very muddled creative direction.

4. Be Cool

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    Johnson showed up in a supporting role for 2005's Be Cool, the long-awaited follow up to hit 1995 crime comedy Get Shorty.

    Based on the novels of Elmore Leonard, both films follow the adventures of dissatisfied mobster Chili Palmer (John Travolta) as he attempts to enter and navigate his away around the fickle and difficult entertainment industry. In the first film, he became interested in getting a movie career off the ground; in the sequel he tries to find success in the music industry. 

    While Johnson deserves great credit for branching out and playing a drastically different character from his usual roles (he played Elliot, a gay bodyguard in the film), Be Cool itself is rather boring, lacking all the humor and charm that made Get Shorty such a surprise hit. The critics were pretty scathing towards it too.

3. Doom

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    Frankly, most Hollywood film adaptations of popular video games aren't very good, and 2005's Doom is no different. A big, noisy, incoherent action movie, Doom is frequently hampered by a terrible, cliche-ridden script and wooden, unconvincing performances.

    Even Johnson, who usually makes the effort in his roles, seemed bored and indifferent to it all. Possibly he knew how atrocious the film would end up ultimately being.

    Hey, you know things are bad when you make the mediocre Resident Evil movies look almost competent in comparison.

    As Box Office Mojo notes, Doom didn't exactly set the world on fire at the box office either, with the film barely making back its budget in theaters.

2. Southland Tales

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    As director Richard Kelly's follow up to cult horror film Donnie Darko, apocalyptic thriller Southland Tales had the potential to be a similar-sized cult hit.

    Throw in a star-studded cast including Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Seann William Scott and what could possibly go wrong? 

    Well, everything, really.

    First of all, the film makes no sense. OK, neither did Donnie Darko, but Southland Tales manages to be even more incoherent and nonsensical. Never has a movie raised so many questions and never bothered to answer them. Half the time it feels like Kelly is deliberately throwing in weird and undecipherable things simply to befuddle everyone.

    And unlike Donnie Darko, which at least had appealing central characters, there's no-one to truly relate to or like. They're all too odd and uninvolved, with Rock's amnesia-ridden film star character coming off as particularly unemotional.

    While Johnson should undoubtedly get credit for trying something new, you end up wishing he had picked something smarter than this. 

    Unsurprisingly, Southland Tales was a disaster with critics, who generally hated the convoluted script and bizarre premise. Worse still, it did abysmal numbers at the box office (via Box Office Mojo). While Johnson managed to move past the film and find success, it remains to be seen if Kelly's once-promising career has ever truly recovered. 

1. Tooth Fairy

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    Gee, what else was it going to be?

    This badly-written, sophomoric family "comedy" sees Johnson play an arrogant hockey player who must atone for past sins by (you guessed it!) becoming a Tooth Fairy. Which means we are then treated to the flabbergasting sight of big, bad action star Johnson wandering around in a tutu with big feathery wings stuck onto his back for an hour and a half. Oh, and by the end of it he becomes a better person, or something.

    Who exactly thought this was a good idea?

    A movie that just screams "Why!?" on every possible level, Tooth Fairy has gone on to become infamous in wrestling, with many performers, including Johnson himself, poking fun at its awfulness on television.