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  1. #1
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    Chair Shots Presents: Over-Rock-Sposure


    Dwayne Johnson is a force of nature. From professional wrestling, to acting, to producing, to perhaps politics, there doesn’t seem to be anything that The Rock cannot do. He appears in so many different places that you have to wonder if he’s got some hidden identical twin that nobody know about. This past week, his latest “blockbuster” movie hit theaters with Hollywood expecting another huge hit on their hands.

    Except that didn’t happen.

    In fact, Skyscraper didn’t even manage to grab the #2 spot for its opening weekend, coming in at #3 between Disney’s Incredibles 2, already out several weeks, and the second week of Ant-Man and the Wasp. In fact, this giant spectacle that I’ve dubbed “Disabled Die Hard” was beaten, and beaten handily by an animated vampire going on summer vacation. With a reported budget of over $125 million, Skyscraper didn’t even grab a fifth of its cost to make, coming in just under $25 million. For a film with such a large advertising budget and mainstream attention, why did “Skyscraper” fail at the box office?

    Perhaps there is such a thing as TOO MUCH ROCK.

    Since 2001, The Rock has starred in around 30 feature films as either the lead or big name co-star. He’s also been the star and producer of HBO’s “Ballers” since 2015. On average, that 2-3 films in a 12-month period starring the loveable Dwayne Johnson, and that number doesn’t appear to be going down anytime soon. In the next 3 years or so, The Rock is set to be in another 9-10 films, many of which are sequels to already existing Rock properties; San Andreas, Jumanji, as well as the Fast and Furious series. That’s a lot of Dwayne for people to take, and unfortunately many of his movies are becoming quite interchangeable.


    These are from THREE DIFFERENT MOVIES!


    If you look at the roles in some of his more recent movies, I think you’ll also start to see a trend emerging. Let’s take a look shall we?

    SAN ANDREAS: The Rock plays Ray Gaines, a sensitive Search and Rescue pilot who must battle adversity and destruction to save his estranged wife and daughter.

    RAMPAGE: The Rock plays Davis Okoye, the sensitive caretaker of an albino gorilla who becomes the subject of a genetic experiment gone wrong. The Rock must save the city and his friend from destruction.

    JUMANJI WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: The Rock plays sensitive, geeky high-school kid Spencer, sucked into a video game where as Dr. Smolder Bravestone he must save Jumanji from destruction while also finding new love and friendships.

    SKYSCRAPER: The Rock plays sensitive FBI Hostage Rescue and war vet Will Ford, who must rescue his family from criminals amidst the tallest building in China, now consumed in a disastrous blaze.

    So I think we get it right? The Rock is a total badass with a sensitive side and love for family, friends and all sizes of animals. He’s a freaking gem of a human being. But at the end of the day, he’s now playing the same role in every movie he takes. I’m not denying Dwayne his opportunities by any stretch. In fact, he’s just been named the highest-paid actor in Hollywood by Forbes magazine, with over $120 million last year alone. Perhaps though it’s time for The Rock to be a little more selective and diverse in his film roles (and wardrobe choices), which brings up the question “Can he?”

    Recently, Dwayne mentioned in an interview that he can’t wait to get back into a WWE ring, and while there are people that would pop at the return of The Great One, there are probably more that would just as soon not have him appear ever again. Much like his recent film roles, The Rock of the WWE seems to be stuck in a bit of a rut. His last few appearances, both in-ring and out have seem forced, and at times downright boring. You see, while the WWE has changed over the years, The Rock has stayed the same wrestling character he was when he stopped being a full-time competitor. His promos are the same. His mannerisms are the same. His forced sexual innuendo, which no longer fits today’s WWE image, remains the same.

    Then what would a 2018-19 Rock bring to the WWE? It can’t be star power, because wrestling fans don’t need to turn to the WWE to see The Rock as he’s seemingly all places at once. No, at this point the only thing Dwayne would bring to the WWE Universe is a loving sense of nostalgia for when the WWE was at its peak. At a time when Vince and Co. are begging for that “next big thing” while simultaneously trying to shove guys like Roman Reigns down our throats, an appearance from The Rock would be just what the Doctor ordered, for about 20 minutes. So I’m going to drop a very bold, hot take for you.

    The Rock appearing in the WWE in 2018-19 brings no value whatsoever.

    And then there’s the talk of politics. In interviews, The Rock has stated on several occasions that he wouldn’t be opposed to running for public office, perhaps even the Presidency itself. As the American people are struggling to come to grips with the current state of America, seeing a well-spoken wholesome guy like Dwayne Johnson tell the world that he’s open to a political career sometime in the future was a bit of a breath of fresh air to many. With zero experience whatsoever many people were immediately open to the idea of this happening, just on the basis of The Rock being a decent human being.

    This my friends is a bad idea.

    I appreciate The Rock wanting to do good by his country. I appreciate the hard work that The Rock has put in to capture the success he’s captured. I don’t begrudge The Rock in any way, shape or form the many opportunities he’s achieved. But do I want him as the President of the United States? With zero experience, I’d have to say no. We’ve already seen what that looks like, and while I’d never compare one with the other, there’s a level of expertise that needs to exist to hold the highest elected office in our country.

    The Rock is a good many things. He’s an actor, an athlete, a producer, and a role-model for many people around the world. If you’re a huge Rock fan, than you’re probably thrilled that he’s everywhere, but for The Rock, the failings of “Skyscraper” should send a bit of a message that perhaps “everywhere” is perhaps too much. The next few years will be very telling if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has already hit his box-office peak or if “Skyscraper” was just a burning heap of crap that was destined to fail regardless of its star.

    Until next time,
    Rob Out!
    Last edited by Rob S.; 07-17-2018 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #2
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Totally agree about the movies, but when you look like The Rock, you're going to be getting those action roles. All action movies are the same.

    Presume you've seen the theory that all stories follow one of 7 generic flows? Whether Rock is in them or not, those action movies are always all the same.

    WRT Rock doing another WWE comeback, it's not about what he brings to us, the fans. It's about the fans he brings with him. Appearances from guys like the Rock are there to try & tempt their fans from other outlets to watch WWE and hopefully stick around after they've gone. WWE just need to learn that part timers like The Rock are a draw on their own and don't need the title involved in their match.

  3. #3
    The Brain
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    That picture of the Rock in three different movies is very striking, haha. I will say I actually enjoy his movies more often than not, but I do think there's a bit of a bubble bursting with the guy. He'll always be popular, but we may have just now passed beyond highest paid guy in Hollywood territory. Or maybe not! Can't underestimate how charismatic the guy is.

    Personally I don't think I'd be too interested in another return to WWE, but it's certainly something I could easily see them trying. More power to those who would be into it, I suppose.

    Really nice piece here Rob. I know you're calling it quits soon, so hoping we get a real kicker of a finale from you (that or a decision not to stop writing after all!).

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    DB- yeah I understand the in essence action movies have the same general premise, but Dwayne's are almost TOO similar. I also think he's got the ability to branch out. He can certainly do comedy, and I wouldn't be surprised if he could take on a dramatic role either. I also agree that the goal of a Rock return to the WWE is to bring new viewers in, but I also know that his last couple of appearances have not done that. Rock is super talented, no doubt. Definitely don't want to see him already be at his peak.

    Mizzie- I enjoy his movies too, but damn if they're not all looking the same. And yeah, that's a hell of a lot of charisma. I don't want a WWE return either, but I think it's inevitable, probably pretty soon too. As for a finale, I think I've got an idea for something; something of a crossover actually between two of my creative series. We'll see if it plays out like I hope.

  5. #5
    Forgotten Ponder
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    I was never a fan of The Rock during his wrestling periods. His older stuff during his Corporation stuff was great but his wrestling has always been average. No deny he has the charisma but I've always been more of a "wrestler guy" (Benoit, Angle, etc).

    As for his movie career, Jumanji is probably the most recent one I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was. Everything else as you have said, blends in. Not that I've seen many or all of them but you've seen Rock in one thing, you've seen them all.

    If he does go away for a while, I'd be happy. Just don't go for President. Tired of politics as it is in this world.
    Twitter - @Sooper_Hoody


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