Saturday, November 3, 2007

Review: The Game Plan

The Game Plan

Starring: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Madison Pettis, Kyra Sedgwick

Directed by: Andy Fickman (She's the Man)

Cheesy. Disney. Sell-out. That's what some of you think when you see that former badass pro wrestler Dwayne Johnson has signed a Disney contract and is laughing all the way to the bank. It's not so black and white though. Johnson is the father of who I assume can only be one of the most adorable, and badass, six year olds on the planet. The guy wants to act, but he wants to make movies that his little girl can watch too. Work/Life balance? Check.

The Game Plan is the story of an NFL player, Joe "The King" Kingman, who opens the door to a daughter he didn't even know existed. He's selfish and self-obsessed and his daughter is ready to shake up his life.

Ok so cheesy idea! It's Disney, so it's always going to have that. Surprisingly, most of The Game Plan is more touching than tacky. One scene might make you cringe but the rest is honest, heartfelt and it stands out as better than average.

I've been a fan of The Rock ever since his wrestling days. In fact, his exit from the male soap opera made me quit watching. I watch his movies now instead. I am both pleased and surprised that he is growing as an actor and has even slimmed down his muscle mass to appear more realistic looking. Does that make sense? Probably not. Despite this, he does spend half the movie with his shirt off.

OH KAY...back to the movie. Dwayne Johnson can act. In real life, he is a very sweet man who is totally devoted to his family (even though he has now split with his wife, he calls her his best friend and insists they are raising their daughter together as a team). On the big screen, he translates these feelings over with ease in this movie. One scene, where he cries, is probably the most gut wrenching scene in the movie.

Another interesting fact about the movie:

From The Game Plan, viewers get to witness the Elvis-loving footballer serenade Peyton with The King's tune Are You Lonesome Tonight. "I am a big fan of Elvis and to add that layer to the character, I thought it would be fun, so I suggested it," Johnson says.
"For me it was cool singing the song of my favourite singer/songwriter and it's one of my favourite love songs. It was perfect."

So add singing to that list. While the performance indicates he won't be releasing an album anytime soon, it's still very sweet and pleasant to watch.

Go out to see The Game Plan, and take kids! I watched this in a cinema full of older children and they were all captivated. If you're Australian and worried about the sport being American Gridiron, don't. If they do have any questions after the movie, it might make a fun little research project you could do together. Google "NFL".

I continue to be a fan of Dwayne Johnson and am ecstatic to see him in this genre. He is reminding me more and more of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not in his abilities as an actor, but in the direction that legendary muscle man's career went. However, I'd rather see The Rock stick to movies than politics. Movies are so much more fun!

The Game Plan scores 3.5/5 Superstars

1 comment:

jOeY! said...

The Rock is the man (although back when I was into the WWF, I was more of a Mick Foley guy), and I think he's a hell of an actor. I loved "The Rundown," I was surprised with how much I liked "Gridiron Gang," and even though the movie was a disappointment, he was great in "Be Cool." Maybe I'll see "The Game Plan" on DVD, I dunno, but I'll definitely be seeing "Southland Tales" as soon as it comes out in theaters.