"Have fun."

I'd forgotten those two words of blessing passed on from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson during the first five minutes of 2003's The Rundown until I re-watched it last night. They pass each other in a nightclub, Schwarzenegger making a last-minute cinematic pit-stop on his way to the California Governor's office, and The Rock on his way out of the WWE's squared circle and into movie stardom.

It was obviously supposed to be a symbolic passing of the torch, from the last generation's action superstar to the young up-and-comer, but what went wrong? The Rock has only done two action films since then (Walking Tall and Doom, which he wasn't even the star of), and has instead spent most of his career in comedies (Be Cool, Get Smart) or family fare (Planet 51, Race to Witch Mountain, The Gameplan).

Right now, the former pro wrestler can be seen in the high-concept (and lukewarmly reviewed) comedy The Tooth Fairy as a hockey player who gains magical abilities and fairy wings to place quarters under the pillows of toothless children. His next film is Adam McKay's latest Will Farrell comedy The Other Guys. Where's the next generation Schwarzenegger we were hoping for?
categories Columns, Cinematical