The Rock Action 3-Pack
The Scorpion King, Rundown, Doom
Directed by Chuck Russell, Andrzej Bartkowiak, Peter Berg
Starring The Rock
Release Date: February 10, 2009
Before Dwayne Johnson had a game plan or was racing to some mountain, he was the wrestler The Rock, the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. When he was given a cameo appearance in the Mummy Returns as The Scorpion King, he took the ball and ran with it and gave a pretty impressive debut performance. Producers obviously saw something special in him and before you know it, Dwayne Johnson was on his way to Hollywood, starring in his own movies and eventually becoming a star under the Disney umbrella.
Getting in on having Johnson’s name out there now for his new Disney movie Race to Witch Mountain, Universal Pictures has released The Rock Action 3-Pack, collecting three of his movies — The Scorpion King, The Rundown, and Doom — for a discounted price. Three movies for the price of one seems like a great deal but are these movies any good? I took it upon it upon myself to find out.
While it may seem that three movies bunched into one review would be difficult, thankfully these three Rock films are overly simplistic and are one-note movies, a good and bad thing depending on your movie tastes.
In the Scorpion King, The Rock plays Mathayus, an assassin hell-bent on killing Memnon, a tyrant who slayed his brother. Fist fights, big explosions, hot girls (Kelly Hu), and a goofy sidekick support Rock’s starring role. In the Rundown, The Rock’s second movie, he plays Beck, a problem solver for the mob and aspiring chef. Beck is tasked to bring back his mob boss’s son (Seann William Scott) from the jungles of the Amazon. Like his first movie, this film is filled with fist fights, big explosions, and hot women (Rosario Dawson), but this time also with a goofy bad villain played by Christopher Walken. Not wanting to “rock” the boat, the Rock treads similar roads in Doom. He plays Sarge, leader of a group of marines sent to rescue scientists in a lab on Mars and encounter evil monsters in this action-packed movie based on the popular video game.
Now, I would be lying to you if I said that these movies are the best out of the Rock’s still developing movie career. Each of these films, while having entertaining action sequences, are marginally good at best but can you really blame them for being sub-par? One of the films is based on a video game (Doom) and the other is the Rock’s first starring role (The Scorpion King).
The Rock is all right in his first starring role, but you can tell he was a newbie in Hollywood. His delivery was lackluster and he relied too much on his facial features that made him famous in the world of wrestling entertainment. Even his fighting repertoire consists of wrestling moves. Despite this, anyone watching the movie can see that he had something about him that made him stand out from the rest of the wannabees invading Hollywood. Watching these three films in the order that it was filmed, you can actually see how far he has come as an actor. So while he is no Denzel Washington, he certainly has surpassed his action-star predecessors in the acting department.
If I had to choose the best movie out of the three, I would put my money on the Rundown. The Rock just seems to be more comfortable in this movie, which combines both action and comedy, and while his character was tough, he had a sense of humor and never took himself seriously. He also made a great straight man for the funny Seann William Scott. They played off of each other nicely and had a lot of on-screen chemistry, something his co-stars in the other two films lacked. The director, Peter Berg, also does a great job driving this picture with a clear vision of what he wants and how he wants to shoot it.
As far Blu-ray discs go, film quality here is top notch. The picture is gorgeous and just a sight to see. These films are straight transfers from the regular DVDs, which means the extras are the same as its less pretty cousins. My only problem with the Scorpion King features is that you can only view the extras in a picture within a picture feature. Why you can’t see these features separately is beyond me but perhaps you can and I am too technologically dense to find a way to view it.
If you are just a fan of the Rock and want to see him lay the smack down on some poor roodeepoo’s candy ass (yea…wrestling reference!) for a low low price, then the Rock Action 3-Pack could be right for you.