Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s latest movie, “Skyscraper”, is not exactly winning praise from critics.
The movie is, apparently, disposable, lazy, and shallow. It’s a summer blockbuster with very little to distinguish it from other, more noteworthy offerings from this season. At least, that’s what the critics say.
But, then, what does it matter? Johnson will have another movie out soon enough, and this film will be entirely forgotten.
Just a few months ago we were watching Johnson headline “Rampage”, which similarly didn’t exactly wow audiences.
Just half a year ago was “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”, which everyone loved.
Last year we saw “Baywatch”, which again, was hated.
All of this begs the question: is there such a thing as too much of a good actor? Especially if he’s not properly vetting the projects he’s working on?
Great Actor, Crummy Movies
Dwayne Johnson is an impressive man, blasting through so many films in such a short period of time. His batting average isn’t great – nor has it ever been, as anyone who remembers “The Scorpion King” will recall. Probably more than half of his movies are, despite his best efforts, less than wonderful.
But, if you make enough movies, occasionally one or two is going to be a solid experience. With The Rock’s natural charisma and charm, he’s managed to work himself into a position where he can take credit for his movies’ successes while avoiding blame when something goes wrong.
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is great because Johnson delivers a solid performance; “Baywatch” sucks in spite of his best efforts. Thus, Johnson is able to continue to make a lot of big budget movies without anyone ever questioning him when he stars in a dud.
In the past two years, Johnson has appeared at the lead actor in four films. One of these is beloved, while the rest have received a mixed reception.
I have to wonder how long Johnson can keep up this pace without being more discerning about the projects he works on.
Johnson is one of the few Hollywood celebrities who is capable of selling a movie on star power alone. In decades past, people would go see a film because of a specific actor, but by this point, the presence of a certain face isn’t enough to guarantee ticket sales.
Unless that face belongs to Johnson.
The Danger of Overexposure
I get the feeling that a lot of people are seeing bad movies that they wouldn’t otherwise want to watch, solely because of the lead star. I also suspect that, if this continues to be the case, people will stop watching things just because Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson makes an appearance in the story.
Johnson is in a good place at the moment, but his less than stellar track record for picking good movies is going to catch up with him eventually. Too many more movies like “Skyscraper”, and his name is going to lose its current star appeal.
Johnson might want to avoid this. There’s a benefit to being more selective about the projects he takes on.
If Johnson wants to continue to be Hollywood’s golden star, he’ll need his reputation intact.
Especially if he’s planning on running for President in future, as everyone suspects!