When you are talking about current action superstars, there is no one above Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Whether he’s saving ailing franchises or laying the smackdown in original movies, everything is kicked up a notch when The Rock is involved. Here are our picks for the top ten best moments of bad assery from the once and future People’s Champ.
10. Becoming the Predator in The Scorpion King: Most of the time, The Rock goes head first into whatever danger is foolish enough to challenge him but he changed things up for this scene from The Scorpion King, using his assassin skills to take out the evil warlord Memnon’s men who are after him like some sort of slasher villain, impaling them on spikes and dragging them into the ceiling.
8. Aim for the Bushes in The Other Guys: The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson are the apex of awesome cops in The Other Guys but their bad assery is so great, it makes them do things like jump off a multi-story building and aim for imaginary bushes. It’s one of the most hilariously bizarre moments in recent years and it only works because of how bad ass Jackson and The Rock have been in everything else.
8. Roadblock vs Firefly in GI Joe: Retaliation: Perhaps there is no better evidence of The Rock’s skills at being “franchise Viagra” then when he basically single handedly pulled the GI Joe series out of the idiotic trainwreck of Rise of Cobra with Retaliation by playing fan favorite Joe Roadblock. Everything just felt more “GI Joe” with actual vehicles from the toy line and cartoon, a more accurate Cobra Commander, an insane plot involving dropping uranium rods from satellites and things culminated with The Rock facing off against a former Punisher, Ray Stevenson, as Firefly. Things go from an insane boat chase to a one on one battle where both combatants seem to have some training in gunkata and it left a much better taste in the mouths of audiences then whatever the hell happened at the end of Rise of Cobra.
7. Trashing the Casino in Walking Tall: Rebooting a movie that starred MST3K favorite Joe Don Baker, The Rock returns home after serving the Special Forces to find his hometown under the sway of a sleazy casino run by his former classmate, played with scenery chewing excellence as always by Neal McDonough. After recovering from a brutal beating by the casino thugs and learning that his nephew almost died from trying meth sold at the casino, The Rock rolls in with a 2×4 and proceeds to destroy everything in his path and then uses his attack as a platform to get elected sheriff so he can continue to whoop the jabronis of the casino, legally.
6. “Woman, I am the cavalry!” from Furious 7 (click picture for video): For everything that is incredible about Furious 7, the one thing that is diappointing is how little The Rock’s Agent Hobbs is in it. Sidelined after a fight with Ian Shaw (which we’ll get to in a bit), Hobbs is out of the fight for most of the gang’s international adventures until they return home to LA and Hobbs A) breaks open his own cast by flexing his arm and B) steals an ambulance and drives it off an overpass onto an attacking drone. He then picks up the drones minigun and proceeds to lay waste to everything in his path. Keep in mind that the entire time, his arm is supposedly broken because he fell multiple stories onto a parked car.
5. Hobbs’ Interrogation technique in Furious 6: Furious 6 is not quite as good as either Fast Five or Furious 7 but there are definitely some great Hobbs moments as usual and one of the first scenes he’s in finds him using his unique interrogation skills on a member of Owen Shaw’s crew. Said technique is basically use the suspect’s body to destroy the room until he’s probably pissing blood and then ask your one question and leave him for dead. Batman didn’t even go this far interrogating the Joker.
4. Beck Uses Guns in The Rundown: Because of something tragic that happened in his past, bounty hunter Beck has sworn off using guns in The Rundown and actually goes to absurd lengths to disarm and dispose of the guns he’s faced with but, when attacking the evil mine kingpin Hatcher’s town and things at their most desperate, Beck breaks his vow in the most spectacular way possible by dual wielding shotguns, even firing both at the same time. You can almost feel Hatcher piss himself a bit looking at the surveillance footage and then scene also ends with one of the best “Cool Guys Don’t Look at Explosions” moments ever.
3. Hobbs vs Toretto in Fast Five: If you wanted to pinpoint the moment The Rock saved the Fast & Furious franchise, it’s this fight scene with Vin Diesel. Probably sweating pure testosterone, this fight is the equivalent of Greek gods battling as the pair throw each other through walls and windows while the rest of the Furious crew can only look on in awe. The only unrealistic thing about this fight is that Dom comes out on top.
2. Hobbs vs Shaw in Furious 7: The only way you could possibly top Vin Diesel vs The Rock is Jason Statham vs The Rock and it lives up to everything you ever imagined it would be. When Ian Shaw breaks into Interpol HQ and tries to get info on Dom and the gang from Hobbs’ computer, the two have an epic battle that features, among other things, a Rock Bottom that seems to shatter the laws of physics. Like Van Damme vs Stallone in Expendables 2, this is one of those fights that will go down in action movie history.
1. Wrong Choice from The Rundown: With this whole opening scene, which includes a passing of the torch cameo from Arnold himself, The Rock established himself as the greatest modern day action hero and The Rundown as his Commando or Terminator 2. Sent to retrieve a ring from a cocky college football quaterback as collateral for his gambling debts, bounty hunter/”retrieval expert” Beck first tries to do things the nice way and is insulted so Beck has to do things the not so nice way and puts a whooping on an entire football team that probably ended their entire season. Everything from Missy Elliott in the background to multiple rock bottoms and the use of turntables as weapons makes this everything that is awesome about The Rock in action.