The electrifying man known as, The Rock, started out as, Flex Kavana, seventeen years ago, earning forty-dollars a night with the United States Wrestling Alliance. Now, he’s one of the biggest stars on the planet and movies with Dwayne Johnson are a permanent fixture on the big screen in 2013.
With five blockbuster movie releases, in the incredible span of five months, I’m going to suggest that The Rock is the greatest action hero we’ve ever seen… Sorry Arnold.
I was a huge fan of Schwarzenegger growing up and, year after year, I’d wait patiently for his next action-packed adventure to grace the screen at my local theatre. I was in my adolescent glory, as biceps flexed and over-the-top explosions punctuated cheesy one-liners from the, “Austrian Oak.” I usually walked away satisfied and pumped with adrenaline, ready to endure another year of waiting for my hero’s next mission.
Those days are long gone, and The Rock is redefining what it means to be a superstar. Movies with Dwayne Johnson are piling up fast and furiously (I had to do it), and he has even become known as a franchise saver.
Twelve years after his debut in The Mummy Returns, the people’s champ is already the fourth highest paid actor in Hollywood, currently raking in thirty-six million dollars for his starring roles. That’s impressive when you note this is the second career path he’s followed with such enormous success.
The Rock already conquered the world of Professional Wrestling, as a third-generation wrestler and eight-time World Heavyweight Champion, before turning his intense focus to the silver screen.
The movie, Snitch, a crime drama that tells the story of a desperate father (Johnson) who stops at nothing to rescue his troubled son, was released on February 22, 2013. This was followed by the big-budget sequel, G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation, just five weeks later. Here, the rock stars alongside veteran action star, Bruce Willis, and up-and-comer, Channing Tatum.
Pain and Gain, promised to be a hit, and paired Johnson with the multi-talented, Mark Wahlberg, in an action-comedy that premiered on April 26, 2013. That was just four weeks after, Retaliation, and just three days before WrestleMania 29.
Here, The Rock laced up his boots for, perhaps, the last time and relinquished his World Title to fellow wrestler/actor John Cena in front of 80,676 fans… a record-breaking crowd for New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. After this highly anticipated event, it was back to Hollywood, where another movie franchise was releasing the sixth installment in its popular series co-starring Vin Diesel.
Some critics say, The Rock, rescued this franchise with his appearance in the fifth movie, making it inevitable that his character, Luke Hobbs, would be back for more. The Fast and the Furious 6 premiered on May 24, 2013.
I saw all the movies with Dwayne Johnson that came out before Snitch, but now I was falling behind. I hadn’t seen any from 2013 yet, and I was starting to have trouble keeping track. I couldn’t remember one of the titles and, when I looked his movies up online, I was shocked to see another one with a tentative June 10, 2013 release date… Empire State, another crime-drama, co-starring, Liam Hemsworth, of The Expendables 2.
I don’t know of any other action star, who appeared in a new movie every single month… five months in a row! That’s an impressive feat in itself. Let’s not forget he was also maintaining a constant presence in the world of wrestling, in preparation for their most anticipated annual event, running parallel to his Hollywood action.
In light of all this, I’m convinced, Dwayne Johnson is the greatest action hero ever, and there’s more. Unbelievably, a new television show on TNT called, The Hero, premiered on June 6, 2013. This show is, both, produced and hosted by, The Rock.
Now, perhaps you don’t agree with me, that he’s the greatest action star of all time but, you have to agree, he’s the busiest. It’s obvious to me, that movies with Dwayne Johnson will continue to be a permanent fixture in our movie theaters for a long time to come.
Nathan C. Daniels is a regular contributor to The Real SuperMum Blog, a staff writer for The Good Men Project, a published poet, and the author of, Surviving the Fourth Cycle; a non-fiction book about surviving abuse, overcoming suicide, and living with mental illness. To learn more about this author’s unique life and read more of his work, Please visit ~ http://survivingthefourthcycle.com/