Judge David Johnson will beat your candyass.
Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?
WWE Films continues with an onslaught of career retrospectives, turning attention to its most bankable star: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The Rock scores himself a three-disc set, the first of which is a two-hour documentary, while the latter two feature a collection of his most memorable matches and ring appearances.
WWE typically does a nice job with these sets and, while this release is effective enough, it strikes me as falling a tad short of the studio's most recent efforts, particularly those dedicated to Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.
The Epic Journey of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson documentary is the sets meat, potatoes, and protein shake. Dwayne himself sits down for a chat, but his interview is mainly surface "I worked wicked hard for my dream" stuff. He is far less vulnerable than Michaels and Austin, and that alone knocks the set down a notch. Buttressing Johnson's sound bites, we get interview snippets with Austin, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, Warren Sapp (!), and Johnson's mom, dad, and ex-wife (?).
The retrospective takes us from Johnson's early years as a fan of this dad's pro wrestling career, through his football career at the University of Miami (hence the Sapp cameo), to his debut in the 1996 Survivor Series in Madison Square Garden (as the grinning, corny Rocky Maivia), and ultimately his destiny as "The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment." It's a grand career, no doubt. Tthough the documentary lacks an emotional punch, there are more than a few anecdotes and reminiscence to satiate fans.
The supplementary matches offer a solid taste of The Rock's shenanigans, though WWE could have easily filled another DVD worth of material. I'm not a huge wrestling fan, but the man has taken part in a metric ton of iconic bouts.
We get his 1996 debut, a ladder match against Hunter Hearst Helmsley; a Triple Threat championship match with Kurt Angle and Triple H; the vicious beatdown he laid on Mick Foley (a.k.a. Mankind) at the height of his heel powers; a title bout with Stone Cold Steve Austin; his hyped match with Brock Lesnar (again as heel, freshly back from time away to make movies); and then more recent stuff including his return to the ring. Since these final bits are nothing more than promos Johnson cut in the ring, not actual matches, it seems like this disc could have been put to better use.
The specs: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 2.0 stereo, and (weirdly) no extras.
The Epic Journey of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson lacks insight, but it's
still worth a look at the man who dominated his industry before going on to make
terrible, terrible movies. Not Guilty.
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