The Rock and great action films go together like coffee and donuts. Like pizza and breadsticks. Like salty potato chips and french onion dip. Dwayne Johnson’s presence as a beastly hero type is a huge chunk of the reason the Fast & Furious films were kicked up a notch when he decided to shit on Vin Diesel’s day in Fast Five. The news of Johnson returning for the eighth film is the first sign the movie may work as well as the previous three.
Think of that first confrontation between The Rock’s Agent Hobbs and Diesel’s Toretto back in 2011.
Hobbs: “You’re under arrest.”
Toretto:”That’s funny. I don’t feel under arrest.
Hobbs: I don’t give a shit. I’m just here to bring two assholes whose names hit my desk.”
For those of you who have been hanging out in too many stinky French theaters for the past decade, that’s hardcore macho man preemptive asskicking talk. The kind of words shared between two bald sweaty tight t-shirt wearing lions who aren’t going to back down. The Rock changed the franchise, giving it something the first four films had lacked. A true adversary for Diesel. Someone who could lock horns with him(sorry Rick Yune and John Ortiz but you two simply didn’t cut). Diesel couldn’t sneeze and knock out Johnson, and that created problems for our favorite family oriented group of criminals.
There was also the big fight. The clash of the titans, as Chris Ludacris Bridges called it during the promotional tour. The Rock and Diesel going toe to toe and beating the crap out of each other. This is the rare movie event where the hype was matched and maybe exceeded by the actual result. An extended three room battle between two big men. Diesel, a former nightclub bouncer in New York taking on the real life Hulk himself, the former wrestler/college football defensive lineman turned movie star war mammoth, Johnson. Dwayne may have tried to shed the label of the Rock at times, but it’s hard to do when you see how huge he has gotten since he filmed Faster a few years ago.
The beginning of the Rock’s movie career saw him carry his wrestling weight into the cinematic universe. After a little while, he decided to supersize the muscle build, putting on 25 pounds for the underseen and quite enjoyable Faster. Since then, he has redesigned how Under Armour makes their outerwear. His F/F wardrobe consists of black work pants and a large supply of UA shirts that bulge out like a huge rubber band stretching and bending with each curl from a bodybuilder at a gym.
Since the Rock showed up, fought Diesel, and eventually joined his team, the Fast/Furious films were taken to a whole other level. Critics started to take notice. The box office gross went up. When The Rock joins the party, the circus comes to town in a big way. He isn’t just another bald headed menace. He is a whole other dimension.
Remember when Diesel’s Toretto saved him after their fight in Fast Five? Which action film junkie could not? Gunfire, carnage and exploding cars all around Diesel as he walked across a street in a ridiculously clean white t-shirt, extending his meat hook arm down for a wounded Johnson to grab onto and run for cover. It was like a wrestling match tag team action packed induced orgasm for fans of the two guys. An orgasm without a cigarette in sight so all you could do was dry yourself off.
The last two films have seen the Rock and Diesel hook up in different parts of the world and save the day, with the seventh edition showing the entire crew say goodbye to the founding father of tough guy talk and nitroglycerin, Paul Walker. With the blonde haired gent’s passing, the group will soldier on and make more loud, over the top yet wildly enjoyable spring thrill rides. They wouldn’t be complete without the Rock kicking ass in extremely tight fitting sports shirts. It’s like baking a batch of cookies without greasing the pan first. It’s like making decaf coffee. A Fast and Furious 8 without The Rock Says covering the poster in fiery menace would be like passing up a chance to marinate a 20 ounce ribeye.
After Furious 7 grossed a lazy billion, Fast and Furious 8 will ride into theaters on April 14th, 2017. Get ready by revisiting Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, and Furious 7. Or you could just listen to the sound of a souped up Dodge Charger kick its horse legs out nearby.
The countdown to Bald Guy Mania has begun.