No one in modern Hollywood personifies the clear distinction between an actor and a movie star more than Dwayne Johnson. He’s the highest paid and arguably the most bankable name in the business, but he’s done it by sticking almost exclusively to type and delivering exactly the kind of broad popcorn fodder that’s earned him that position. in the first place.
In fact, we would have to go back more than 15 years to 2006 Redemption to find the last time the former pro wrestler played a significant role in a relatively simple drama, and we’re not counting fight with my family in this case because he played himself in a short appearance.
Inspired by the 1993 documentary of the same name that followed the Kilpatrick Mustangs, Johnson plays Sean Porter, the probation officer at a juvenile detention camp. Seeking to overturn the lives of his proteges who are in real danger of never coming out in free fall, he transforms the group into a high school football team in the space of four weeks.
It’s an uplifting true story, which has proven hugely popular with audiences, with an 81% user rating on Rotten Tomatoes comfortably eclipsing the 42% critic score. Redemption has also regained prominence on Netflix, having steadily climbed the global most-watched rankings all weekend, according to FlixPatrol.
Johnson gives a measured and effective performance up front, which makes us wish he stretched his underutilized dramatic chops far more often than he has over the past decade and changed things up.