Brian and Hemal bid farewell to the Dwayne Johnson season of Ten Movies, sharing the insights they have gleaned into the dark quotidian heart of America during this season's journey. More importantly, they rank the ten movies from this season and disagree strongly on a definitive ordering of The Rock's movies.
What did we watch this season? San Andreas, The Scorpion King, Fast Five, Hercules, Red Notice, Moana, Central Intelligence, Jumanji, Rampage, and Hobbs & Shaw.
And what did we learn? The Rock's perch upon the loftiest heights of American consumer culture is wide but shallow; a carefully-calibrated thing that traffics heavily in explosions, fistfights, car chases, idealized masculinity, and a studied ideological vagueness. Yet behind it, a meek faintheartedness - for all the movies he makes (2.15 feature films a year; we did the math) and the untold cultural and commercial power he wields, Dwayne Johnson is deeply wary of doing anything that might cause even the slightest brow-furrowing among his vast consumer segments.
But then again, who are we to fault him? Do the explosions, fistfights, and car chases not delight us? Are we not entertained?
Whether you're a regular listener or a first-time visitor, this is a not-to-miss episode. And if all the highbrow prattle isn't to your liking, just skip ahead to the rankings.