So, all the posters that I've seen have a big picture of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson looking frazzled. There's not a lot to go on other than the assurance that, because The Rock is involved, there will be fisticuffs and action out the wazoo. I mean, he's the bald, black, native born version of Arnold, isn't he?
So, they don't mention the other big name they got: John Bernthal. That's right, they got Shane from The Walking Dead. I'm glad to see him getting work, and he does a pretty good job as the two-strike ex-con who reluctantly gets pulled into doing bad things for The Rock. I couldn't get over the feeling that Shane was going to stab him in the back and leave him for the zombies to feed on while Shane made his escape, but I kept telling myself that the likelihood of zombies being involved was pretty low.
Susan Sarandon also lends her supporting acting to this effort. So, I immediately ask myself is she is pulling a Michael Cain and doing small, crappy action movies (On Deadly Ground) or is this movie less of an action film than I expect? After the first shot is fired, I realize that I'm almost an hour into the film, so it's not exactly an action movie, is it?
The storyline is that The Rock's son gets peripherally involved in drug smuggling, and an over zealous prosecutor (Sarandon) decides to enforce a significant sentence. Dwayne isn't happy about this, and he comes up with a scheme where he can find and help them capture a worse criminal in exchange for a more lenient sentence. I'm not sure what world this is where an average citizen participating in vigilantism is sanctioned, but that's where we find ourselves.
I didn't expect significant acting from The Rock, and that's about what I got. I mean, I really think he's a nice guy and would be great to have a beer with. And he's a better actor than many of the action stars out there, but he has his own limitations.
The movie, it turns out, is not much of an action movie. It has some chase scenes and guns, but it is an attempt at a thriller. I guess it's successful in that, but my own preconceived ideas of what to expect from a Rock movie tainted my enjoyment of it. If it had been Brad Pitt in that role or even a younger Harrison Ford, I wouldn't have been surprised, and I might have enjoyed it more. That's not Dwayne's fault; it's mine. I need to give the guy more credit (even after The Tooth Fairy).