The Rock will officially be wrestling in his first match this Sunday at Survivor Series since WrestleMania XX.
He will be returning from an over seven-year hiatus from the business, barring his random appearances in a non-wrestling capacity. I do include his guest-host build for WrestleMania as still being part of this hiatus (because it allows one more film to be mentioned).
He has acted in a variety of different films, many of which he even starred in.
While they were not all great, most of them were entertaining affairs, and they will not stop.
While the Rock may stay with the company or make sporadic appearances for WWE, his place has almost solidly been established in Hollywood.
Now let's look back at all his films since leaving WWE after Wrestlemania XX until his return tonight. Ranked from worst to best.
Note: Some movies where the Rock had almost no role at all will be excluded. Namely, Reno 911!: Miami, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? and You Again. But don't worry, there are plenty left.
Role: Elliot Wilhelm
Synopsis (from IMDB): Disenchanted with the movie industry, Chili Palmer (John Travolta) tries the music industry, meeting and romancing a widow of a music exec (Uma Thurman) on the way.
Review: Wow, this movie is bad. The trailer above makes it look decent, but it could possibly be one of the worst movies ever made. The Rock, in fact, manages to be possibly the only bright spot, as he plays his body guard role with massive charisma. Other than that, it is all just horrible attempts at humor with a failure to even try and succeed.
Role: Derek Thompson
Synopsis (from IMDB): A bad deed on the part of a tough minor-league hockey player results in an unusual sentence: He must serve one week as a real-life tooth fairy.
Review: No, it is not the worst film of Rock's career, but it is the worst concept. It is also the worst one that he stars in. Basically, someone should have just said no when a writer came up with this script. More importantly, no matter how charismatic the Rock is, he should know that even he can't save a concept like this.
Synopsis (from IMDB): Space Marines are sent to investigate strange events at a research facility on Mars but find themselves at the mercy of genetically enhanced killing machines.
Review: I love video games. I love movies. I hate almost every video game movie ever made, because they are basically all horrible, with maybe one good film of the lot. This is not the exception, though, it is slightly entertaining if you think about it like watching a video game being played right in front of you.
Role: Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker
Synopsis (from IMDB): American astronaut Captain Charles "Chuck" Baker lands on Planet 51 thinking he's the first person to step foot on it. To his surprise, he finds that this planet is inhabited by little green people who are happily living in a white picket fence world, and whose only fear is that it will be overrun by alien invaders...like Chuck!
Review: I love animated films that are well made. Pixar makes phenomenal animated films. Disney used to make great ones and has had their moments lately. However, this is the epitome of the kid-friendly animated film. It has nothing redeemable for anyone past nine years old, if that age.
Role: Chris Vaughn
Synopsis (from IMDB): A former U.S. soldier returns to his hometown to find it overrun by crime and corruption, which prompts him to clean house.
Review: This movie is a bland action film. That is exactly how you would describe it. The script is bland. The Rock plays the role fairly stoically with not much of his trademark charisma, though, it was his first real Hollywood film after leaving, so he was probably still getting acclimated.
Role: Joe Kingman
Synopsis (from IMDB): An NFL quarterback living the bachelor lifestyle discovers that he has an eight-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
Review: This is a horribly drab Disney flick. That was obvious from the synopsis and trailer. The point of watching it is again to see The Rock's charisma flow. He really can make these flicks decent with his acting. It is actually impressive.
Role: Boxer Santaros
Synopsis (from IMDB): Southland Tales is an ensemble piece set in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. Boxer Santaros is an action star who's stricken with amnesia. His life intertwines with Krysta Now, an adult film star developing her own reality television project, and Ronald Taverner, a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.
Review: This is a slightly funny, slightly thought-provoking effort. The Rock has a fun run in it, and it is an interesting movie. Sadly, it fails to meet expectations that you would expect from the cool premise, but I still enjoyed watching it.
Synopsis (from IMDB): An ex-con sets out to avenge his brother's death after they were double-crossed during a heist years ago. During his campaign, however, he's tracked by a veteran cop and an egocentric hit man.
Review: This is Walking Tall made well. First, The Rock is in top form here as a serious action hero. The script is still somewhat lacking in terms of depth, but the movie is a fun romp from start to finish.
Role: Jack Bruno
Synopsis (from IMDB): A Las Vegas cabbie enlists the help of a UFO expert to protect two siblings with paranormal powers from the clutches of an organization that wants to use the kids for their nefarious plans.
Review: I know what you are thinking when you see this at this high of a position. Yes, it is Disney, but at the same time, it has some hard work from every cast member. They each really make this weak concept actually work to create a fun movie.
Role: Sean Porter
Synopsis (from IMDB): Teenagers at a juvenile detention center, under the leadership of their counselor, gain self-esteem by playing football together.
Review: This may have been the perfect role for The Rock. No one could have played the role of football counselor like this better. The movie was way too sentimental and fairly flat, but the acting by the Rock elevated the film to another level.
Role: Agent 23
Synopsis (from IMDB): Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, battles the forces of KAOS with the more-competent Agent 99 at his side.
Review: This movie is hit or miss. Sometimes, it is hilarious and sometimes just boring. Steve Carrell is phenomenal, though, he misses at times. This is the only movie on this list so far that I would not rank The Rock's performance above the movie itself. It was kind of just there as an agent in the movie.
Role: Detective Christopher Danson
Synopsis (from IMDB): Two mismatched New York City detectives seize an opportunity to step up like the city's top cops whom they idolize—only things don't quite go as planned.
Review: This is a hilarious movie that is great from start to finish, but its opening moments are the highlight. The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson play the role of the ideal cops, and no one could have played it better. These guys were phenomenal. Above, I have most of the performance. Will Ferrell makes the rest of the movie great, but The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson make it amazing.
Role: Luke Hobbs
Synopsis (from IMDB): Dominic and his crew find themselves on the wrong side of the law once again as they try to switch lanes between a ruthless drug lord and a relentless federal agent.
Review: There should be no doubt about how ideal this movie was for the Rock. He got to play an action star with attitude in a movie with a good script, good actors and great action. It was only a matter of time before he found a role like this, and he nailed it. The movie, by the way, is pure awesomeness. One of the best action films out there.
Thanks for reading!