First off, NOBODY really does any acting in the “Fast and Furious” movies, not even Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody. So I found it wildly comical today when an article from Indie Wire pulled a quote from a Vin Diesel interview with Men’s Health magazine, stating the bald-headed stoic statue had finally explained the origin of the turf war between him and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Don’t even bother clicking and reading the insane rantings of a guy whose most notable recent work outside of Dominic Toretto’s quarter-mile dry-humping is voicing three words as a tree. Diesel calling out The Rock is comical. Neither should be regarded as acting savants or a threat to birthday girl Meryl Streep’s acting crown. They are action stars, tasked with convincing audiences in a much-different way. They have to assure us that they can constantly elude death, destruction, endless punches to the face, and recycled dialogue about how “family” is important to a band of criminals.
The Rock and Diesel are more movie stars than actors, even if one is more credible than the other. Don’t think of it in Daniel Day Lewis terms either. Acting isn’t all about making yourself and the audience cry simultaneously–don’t forget about the fine zip code of comedy for a big tough guy. Diesel’s only foray into that area was the forced humor of “The Pacifier,” while The Rock has made his presence known as the people’s champion in the ring and on the screen.
“The Tooth Fairy” and “Game Plan,” neither of which were forced comedies by their star. The Rock has a long list of hit movies, including more dramatic roles in “Gridiron Gang” and “Snitch.” But you tell me if Diesel could match the wide-eyed lunacy and one-stop-shop entertainment zone that Johnson was in Michael Bay’s brass yet darkly funny “Pain and Gain.” Forget “Southland Tales,” and take this crazy character that he created. Diesel stoically pose and brood his way through that role. Right there and then, one should know who the better actor was.
So when Diesel runs his mouth about needing “more” from The Rock on “The Fate of the Furious” set, I call absolute bullshit. Sorry, Mark. No dice. I didn’t hear him complain when Johnson showed up in “Fast Five” and picked up a lagging series. He didn’t complain when the former wrestler brought the cavalry in “Fast 6” or “Furious 7.” Only when his Dom was becoming a full-blown acting caricature that he had to step up and whine about needing better acting from his co-star. Only when Universal started seeing more dollar signs in Johnson and Jason Statham’s chemistry did Diesel start to bark.
The reason for their feud was simple. The Rock is a legitimate movie star and Diesel is not. Check Forbes if you want. That’s too much bald man ego and testosterone for one set, and apparently too much for producer/star Vin to handle. Simple. Closed and shut case of jealousy. Why else would the man cut his co-star’s scenes?
“F9: The Fast Saga” is already doing very well overseas, and will assuredly open well here. But is it any good, or a step down from the last entry-which was only credible for Johnson and Statham? (Hint: It’s really not.) I hope its legs are less and people stop seeing a worthy escape in Diesel’s endlessly cartoonish escapades.
I’m a fan of the guy and have been for years, but this was a low-ball comment that I can’t wait for the bigger man-in both size and credibility-to respond. I hope “candy ass” is used again.
That’s all Vin Diesel sounds like these days.