A new season means there's a new movie starring Dwayne "the artist formerly known as the Rock" Johnson.
The former wrestling superstar is as bankable as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just like clockwork, Johnson will appear in this weekend's blockbuster release, "Skyscraper." In it, Johnson stars as a U.S. war veteran who inspects skyscrapers for safety. But suddenly this ultrasafe building he's investigating gets lit on fire with Johnson's family trapped in it.
Already, "Skyscraper" is on track to be the biggest original film of the summer, according to Forbes. No matter the box office projections, upon seeing the trailer, we couldn't help but think that we've already seen this movie.
It's true, like the Marvel and DC films, Johnson's movies have a formula that's exhaustingly reliable. Even if he's been in a few good flicks ("The Rundown," "Moana" and the only good part in "Be Cool"), here's how you know you're watching a flick starring Dwayne Johnson.
1. The past he can't escape.
Johnson is always a man who has been on both sides of the law. At the start of the movie, he's changed, but something brings him back to the days when he threw people through windows and knew how to drive a tank. See every movie with "Fast" and/or "Furious" in the title, including the nonrelated "Faster," and that one episode of "Hannah Montana."
2. That name is stupid. No one is named that.
In "Skyscraper," Johnson's name is Will Sawyer — the purest American name. Ever. It's also ridiculous. But it's not the first time Johnson appears with a name that will have you doing a double take. There's Bob Stone ("Central Intelligence"), Raymond Gaines ("San Andreas"), Jericho Cane ("Southland Tales"), and, worst of all, Hercules.
3. Why are they in this?
Here are some award winners who have piled up in the background of Johnson's goofy movies: Paul Giamatti ("San Andreas"); Charlize Theron and Kurt Russell ("The Fate of the Furious"); Amy Ryan and Jason Bateman ("Central Intelligence"); and John Hurt ("Hercules").
I just did a spit take in a crowded coffee shop, and everyone hates me. Thanks, Dwayne.
4. No one eats or bleeds. Ever.
All Johnson movies are stupidly violent, but I don't remember ever seeing blood. I'm sure some nerd is thinking: "But what about (insert movie title here)?!" OK, fine, but find me a movie where anyone, including Johnson, eats an entire meal. You can't, can you? These movies are not realistic. At all.
5. Everyone is bronze, and there is a graphic display of muscles.
The only thing I remember about watching "Baywatch" was Johnson's excessive trap muscles. That, and even the chubby guy was tanner than me. I know I'm pale, but c'mon.
6. A lot of people worked on the script.
Though one person wrote "Skyscraper," four people wrote "Rampage," another four wrote "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," and a whopping seven people worked on "Baywatch." That's an average of four screenwriters over Johnson's past four films.
7. You instantly have tinnitus.
Even the people who created Dolby Surround Sound think Johnson's movies are loud.
8. Monologues about friends and leadership.
No matter the movie, Johnson gets an Oscar moment about what it takes to be somebody. I wish a supporting character would slap him in the face and say, "I've got a dad already!"
9. This movie is an amalgamation of better movies from the past.
"Skyscraper" is "Die Hard" and "The Towering Inferno." "Central Intelligence" is every Kevin Hart movie ever made, but with a PG-13 rating. "San Andreas" was "Daylight," "2012" and "Dante's Peak."
10. A sequel is coming out in six months.
Sequels are already in preproduction or have been announced for "Jumanji" and "San Andreas." It is also rumored that Johnson will star in a remake of "Big Trouble in Little China."
I just threw my piping hot coffee at the wall and yelled, "What do we have to do to get him a good, original movie?"