World Cup of Dwayne Johnson Movies
Hi and welcome to the Dwayne Johnson movies World Cup, a tournament that will be taking place on Twitter over the coming weeks. There are 32 movies involved and I’ve seeded them based on average score from movie review website Letterboxd.com. There are two I wasn’t sure about; Mummy Returns and Other Guys where The Rock plays a lesser role in the movie but I needed 32 for a World Cup so here we are.
I’ve used a random number generator to create the groups. Selecting one from each pool of seeds. Here are those seedings for those who missed my initial post:
Top Seeds: Fast Five, Moana, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, The Other Guys, The Gridiron Gang, The Rundown.
Second Seeds: Pain & Gain, Central Intelligence, Get Smart, The Mummy Returns, Faster, Snitch, Walking Tall, The Fate of the Furious
Third Seeds: Southland Tales, Rampage, Skyscraper, San Andreas, The Game Plan, Hercules, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Be Cool
Fourth Seeds: GI Joe: Retaliation, Planet 51, Race to Witch Mountain, Baywatch, The Scorpion King, Doom, The Tooth Fairy, Empire State
The Gridiron Gang
The Fate of the Furious
The Tooth Fairy
Group A sees mostly old school Rock pictures where he wasn’t really sure what his place in Hollywood was. A mentor to kids, a character actor and a comedy centre piece. Finally the Fate of the Furious from 2017 when he was more established. FotF is rated 67% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the only fresh rated movie. Gridiron Gang is surprisingly good with touching performances but it’s only 43% fresh. Be Cool is at 30% and Tooth Fairy at 18%. Interesting factoid; Tooth Fairy, bar Skyscraper, is the only Dwayne Johnson film I’ve not been able to force myself to watch.
Prediction: Fate of the Furious with its recent release, franchise power and £225M box office haul should big dog its way through. I’m hoping Gridiron Gang gets through but Tooth Fairy has a fanbase so we’ll see.
The Mummy Returns
The Race to Witch Mountain
Moana is one of the big hitters with 96% fresh rating on RT and £248M box office. Mummy Returns barely made it in here as Dwayne is hardly in it. Serving mainly as a preview for spin-off the Scorpion King. It’s also the oldest film on here dating back to 2001 where it made an impressive £200M at the cinema. It’s 47% fresh on RT. Hercules is fresher at 59% and Witch Mountain bottoms out at 42% but there are no disasters there.
Prediction: Moana is a strong favourite and should win this group comfortably. Second is open for debate. Any of those three could take it. Mummy Returns isn’t really a Rock vehicle so I’d rather something else snuck through. Anyone’s game!
The Rundown is a hidden gem in Rock’s movie history. It came out back in 2003 and did ok at the box office with £47M. It’s a dark horse to do well but I’ve happily seeded it at #1 because its one of Dwayne’s best films. Doom is one of the worst reviewed films in here at 19% fresh. It was also a box office failure and Rock makes jokes about it being shit. Central Intelligence is actually fresh on RT at 70% while San Andreas, one of the popcorn movies that made the list is at 50%.
Prediction: I hope Rundown gets through here, although the more recent films San Andreas and Central Intelligence might push it out. San Andreas might surprise a few people because yes, it was dumb, but it was also fun and Rock was great in it. Doom is surely out here. Possibly the worst film in the entire contest.
The Other Guys
Pain & Gain
The Game Plan
If there’s one film I’m confident will not make it out of the group it’s Empire State. I’ll be surprised if the bulk of voters will have seen it at all. So that takes it down to three contenders. Game Plan, from 2007, was poorly received by critics but the loveable story clicked with audiences and the film pulled in £90M. Pain & Gain is a rarity; a Michael Bay film that doesn’t have horrible reviews. 50% fresh on RT. Then you’ve got the certified fresh Other Guys, which is in a strange spot as The Rock is hardly in it. It’s the one group where there’s no film I’m particularly inclined to support. If Other Guys had more Rock in it, it would be the easy favourite.
Prediction: Other Guys should advance, simply because it’s the best film, but the lack of Rock will hurt it in the long run. Pain & Gain is a likely second but Game Plan, given its sweet hearted nature, may give it a run for its money.
The Scorpion King
Furious 7 is a lock to get out of Group E. It’s the most emotionally connecting of all the Fast & Furious films and even though the Rock isn’t that involved in the emotion the fact it’s such a good film should see it advance. It certified fresh at 80% and pulled in over £300M at the box office. Snitch is definitely a lesser Dwayne movie. I’ve seen it and I don’t remember much about it. It’s 57% fresh on RT and made a humble £43M. Southland Tales was basically shelved by the studio but wasn’t well reviewed either at 38%. It has a big cult following and some truly memorable scenes but was horribly miscast and while Rock’s role as a character actor is memorable it might not be enough to get it through here. Scorpion King is one of Rock’s earliest starring roles and a pretty basic actioner from 2002.
Prediction: Furious 7 is winning this group. Second place is up for grabs. Scorpion King may have a little nostalgia push and Southland Tales’ performance will be based on its cult following. It’s probably not enough. Snitch is so unmemorable I can see it finishing dead last.
GI Joe: Retaliation
As with Group E there’s one clear favourite here with Fast Five. It was the movie where Dwayne jumped into an established franchise and rescued it. Fast Five is certified fresh at 77% and is widely regarded as the best Fast & Furious film. Speaking of saving franchises; Rock had a go at saving GI Joe. The original film a total disaster, hated by almost everyone, the Rock driven follow up was a lot better but still only 29% fresh. Walking Tall is one of Rock’s earlier vehicles back in 2004 when he’d just broken into Hollywood. Still referencing his wrestling background in this buddy movie with Johnny Knoxville. It’s 26% fresh and a poor man’s version of the Rundown. Rampage isn’t just here to make up the numbers. The giant gorilla movie is one of the highest rated video game adaptations of all time, clocking in at 52% fresh. It’s unlikely a lot of people have seen it due to the 2018 release date but it’s actually pretty good.
Prediction: Fast Five is winning the group. Second place is wide open but I have sneaking suspicion it’ll go to Rampage thanks to that movie being fresh in a lot of people’s minds.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Jumanji being rebooted wasn’t high on most people’s wish lists but the 2017 movie did a bang-up job, converting the board game to a video game and freshening everything up in the process. It’s 76% fresh, making it third highest rated movie involved in this competition. Faster I have no recollection of whatsoever. It made a very modest £23M back in 2010 and was 42% fresh. Journey 2 was a much bigger hit, grossing £109M. It also got decent reviews at 43% fresh. Planet 51 is a cartoon where the dog is a facehugger so I hope that wins.
Prediction: Jumanji is a sure thing. Journey 2 is likely to follow it into the knock out stages as it’s far more memorable than the other two. Faster in particular leaves little in the memory.
Fast & Furious 6
The final group is the Group of Death. Fast 6 isn’t the best of the franchise so doesn’t have the iron grip over the group that Fast Five or Furious 7 have on theirs. I’d be tempted to vote against it just to thin out the Fast films. It is still fresh at 69%. Nice. Get Smart is a sleeper film. It’s 50% fresh but scored relatively big at the box office with £130M. It’s also one of Rock’s better comedies as Steve Carrell takes over most of the comedic needs while Rock remains large and handsome. Skyscraper has just come out and is the newest film in the tournament. That alone should give it a little bump. Meanwhile Baywatch, despite its dismal 18% fresh rating is also quite recent and has a strong cult following. That might be enough to edge it through in a tight group.
Prediction: I’m expecting this to be the closest group for voting spread. It’s anyone’s game. Smart money remains on the Fast franchise. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the rest followed it into the knock off stages.
As I am following the World Cup bracket here’s who plays who in the draw after the groups:
A1 vs. B2
C1 vs. D2
E1 vs. F2
G1 vs. H2
B1 vs. A2
D1 vs. C2
F1 vs. E2
H1 vs. G2
Those are the two sides of the bracket.
Hashtag for this event is #RockWC
The tournament will run on Twitter (@arnoldfurious) from August 12 onwards.