Faster (2010)

Faster
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Writer: Tony Gayton, Joe Gayton
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Maggie Grace, Xander Berkeley, Tom Berenger, Matt Gerald, Mike Epps, Moon Bloodgood, Jennifer Carpenter, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Seen on: 31.5.2021

Plot:
The Driver (Dwayne Johnson) spent ten years in prison after a bank robbery, but now he is finally being released – and he has people to go after. He immediately goes for it, too. Leaving the investigating detectives (Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino) puzzling over his motives. Meanwhile, a bored billionaire and killer-for-hire (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is sent after the Driver as well. The Driver doesn’t have much time to finish his business.

Faster was probably the worst Dwayne Johnson film I ever saw. I mean, usually his films are, if not exactly good, at least entertaining all the way. But this one was just dreary and trying way too hard.

The film poster showing the Driver (Dwayne Johnson) standing tall, revolver in hand.
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Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

Jumanji: The Next Level
Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Jake Kasdan, Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg
Sequel to: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Awkwafina, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, Rhys Darby, Colin Hanks, Rory McCann
Seen on: 13.12.2019

Plot:
It’s been a year since Spencer (Alex Wolff), Martha (Morgan Turner), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain) and Bethany (Madison Iseman) returned from Jumanji. They finished high school and each set out on their own life. But now the holidays are coming up and they can’t wait to meet again. Only Spencer isn’t actually happy with his life and when his grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) tells him that now is the best time of his life, Spencer decides that he’d rather be Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) again. When his friends, his grandfather and his grandfather’s friend Milo (Danny Glover) all come looking for him, they all end up in the game – and things are different than before. Very different.

I was very pleasantly surprised by Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, so I was a little worried that Jumanji: The Next Level would turn out to be the film I feared JWttJ would be. But I’m happy to report that it was a whole lot of fun again.

The film poster showing Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Oberon (Jack Black), Mouse (Kevin Hart) and Ruby (Karen Gillan) standing with a black  horse at their backs
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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce
Spin-off from: The Fast and the Furious series
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Eliana Sua, Cliff Curtis, Lori Pelenise Tuisano, John Tui, Joshua Mauga, Joe Anoa’i, Rob Delaney, Ryan Reynolds
Seen on: 12.8.2019

Plot:
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) hate each other, and that is putting it very mildly. But when a dangerous virus, called The Snowflake, is about to get into the wrong hands, they are asked to put aside their differences and go after it together. It was last seen with MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby), as in Deckard’s younger sister. But even though Hattie is keeping it safe at the moment, somebody is still after it and her: Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) who has his own agenda and enhancements to make it happen.

Hobbs & Shaw is a great spin-off form the Fast and the Furious series, hitting just the right tone and style (albeit leaving gaping plot holes with regards to the other films that should not be discussed). I had great fun with it.

The film poster showing the main characters, Big Ben bathed in red light, an explosion, a car, and a motorcycle.
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Skyscraper (2018)

Skyscraper
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han , Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell, Hannah Quinlivan, Kevin Rankin
Seen on: 12.7.2018

Plot:
Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) used to work for the FBI and he is a veteran, but now he leads a calmer life, assessing the security of skyscrapers. His last assignment brought him, his wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and their children( McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell) to Hongkong to inspect the world’s tallest building – The Pearl. A passion project of Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), the building boasts everything you could possibly hope for on a staggering 225 floors. But just as Sawyer is about to clear the building, fire breaks out. Sawyer’s family is trapped inside and Sawyer himself is blamed. He now only has a very limited time to save them, clear his own name and find out who is trying to gain from the fire.

Skyscraper keeps its promises, as I have come to expect from Dwayne Johnson movies: that is, it’s a fun action movie with a decent amount of explosions and quips that sets out to entertain and it does.

Filmposter showing Dwayne Johnson jumping from a crane towards a burning skyscraper.
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Rampage (2018)

Rampage
Director: Brad Peyton
Writer: Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal, Adam Sztykiel
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Marley Shelton, P.J. Byrne, Demetrius Grosse, Jack Quaid
Seen on: 11.5.2018

Plot:
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) works at the San Diego Zoo. In particular he is responsible for George, a white gorilla, whom he has taken care of for many years. But one night, something falls from the sky into George’s enclosure – and George suddenly changes, growing bigger and more aggressive. And he is not the only animal affected that way. Davis knows that he has to find a cure for what ails George – and soon before he destroys too much or is destroyed himself.

Rampage promises a film where Dwayne Johnson beats up giant animals and it absolutely delivers on that. If you feel that this sounds like a good concept, then Rampage is a must-see. Personally, I definitely enjoyed it.

Film poster showing Dwayne Johnson in front of a huge gorilla, wolf and crocodile, walking purposefully, gun in hand.
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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner
Sequel to: (kinda) Jumanji
Based on: Chris Van Allsburg‘s picture book Jumanji
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Rhys Darby, Bobby Cannavale, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner, Colin Hanks
Seen on: 10.1.2018
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Plot:
Alex (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Martha (Morgan Turner) are all sent to detention and have to clean up the school’s storage room. There they stumble on an old console with the game Jumanji. They decide to play and as each of them choses their character, they get sucked into the video game. And the only way out is through.

I didn’t expect much of a sequel to Jumanji, one of my childhood favorites. But I was pleasantly surprised by the film: it is genuinely funny and extremely entertaining.

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Baywatch (2017)

Baywatch
Director: Seth Gordon
Writer: Damian ShannonMark Swift
Based on: the TV series
Cast: Dwayne JohnsonZac EfronPriyanka ChopraAlexandra DaddarioKelly RohrbachIlfenesh HaderaJon BassYahya Abdul-Mateen IIHannibal BuressRob HuebelDavid HasselhoffPamela Anderson
Seen on: 4.6.2017
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Plot:
It’s time to find new recruits for the lifeguards of Emerald Bay, the Baywatch. Overseen by Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson), the recruits prepare for a tough competition. All but Matt Brody (Zac Efron) that is, who finds that he shouldn’t have to prove himself at all since he’s an Olympic swimmer and Baywatch would be lucky to have him. But when a new drug hits the Bay, Mitch and Matt take it upon themselves despite their personal differences to clean up their bay and bring those responsible to justice.

I expected Baywatch to be stupid, sexist and childish, but with charm machine Dwayne Johnson at the helm, I thought it would still entertain regardless. But while the first part of my expectations came true – it is stupid, sexist and childish – the latter part unfortunately fell flat. The script is so bad, not even Johnson can save it.

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The Fate of the Furious (2017)

The Fate of the Furious
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Gary Scott ThompsonChris Morgan
Sequel to: The Fast and the Furious2 Fast 2 FuriousThe Fast and the Furious: Tokyo DriftFast & FuriousFast FiveFast & Furious 6, Furious 7
Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason StathamMichelle RodriguezTyrese GibsonLudacrisCharlize TheronLuke Evans, Nathalie EmmanuelElsa PatakyKurt RussellKristofer HivjuScott Eastwood
Seen on: 19.4.2017

Plot:
Things should be calm around the Family. Dom (Vin Diesel) and Lettie (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon, everybody else has been cleared of all criminal charges and normality is just around the corner. That’s when Dom is contacted by Cipher (Charlize Theron). And she knows everything about him and his past and she’s not afraid to use it to force Dom back into a life of crime. The rest of the Family can’t understand is betrayal and the rift that runs through the group forces them to forge new and unexpected alliances.

The Fate of the Furious is not the strongest film of the series, but it’s by far not the weakest. I had fun watching it, despite a couple of lengths that managed to steal into the film here and there.

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Moana (2016)

Moana aka Vaiana
Director: Ron ClementsJohn Musker, Don Hall, Chris Williams
Writer: Jared Bush
Cast: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk
Seen on: 3.1.2017

Plot:
Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) has always been happy on her island, but curious about the sea that surrounds it as well. But nobody on her island really ventures out to sea. But then an ancient curse starts to affect their island, a curse set into motion by the demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson). Moana knows that she has to do something about it: she has to find Maui and make sure that he makes things right. And that means leaving the island.

Moana is a beautifully animated film with absolutely fantastic movie. There are some issues but I was able to really fall into the film regardless.

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Central Intelligence (2016)

Central Intelligence
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Ike BarinholtzDavid Stassen, Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne JohnsonKevin HartAmy RyanDanielle NicoletJason BatemanAaron PaulRyan HansenThomas KretschmannKumail NanjianiMelissa McCarthy
Seen on: 23.6.2016

Plot:
When he was in high school, Calvin (Kevin Hart) was the star for everyone, but still with enough kindness in his heart to not bully the fat Bob (Dwayne Johnson) like everybody else did. But high school is long since over and Calvin may still have his smart and beautiful girlfriend Maggie (Danielle Nicolet) but otherwise he is stuck in a total rut and dreading the upcoming school reunion. That’s when he gets a call from Bob and decides, on a whim, to meet with him. On the surface Bob is much changed: he is still huge, but from muscles and there doesn’t seem to be the tiniest bit of fat on his body. He is still weird, though, and his obvious excitement to see Calvin again is flattering, but strange. And then things get worse: turns out, Bob works for the CIA and he’s in trouble – and Calvin is quickly more involved than he ever wanted to be.

I was very hesitant about wanting to see Central Intelligence. Its humor really didn’t seem up my alley. But then again I think Dwayne Johnson is funny as hell, so I had hopes that he would make the film work for me. And while the film is far from being my favorite, that is mostly what happened.

centralintelligence

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