By Lee Parham

As Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is set to explode onto the Netflix scene in Red Notice, we take a look back on the actor's domination of the action genre.

Before Jumanji, Red Notice, and Black Adam, The Rock had a short-lived football career, a meteoric rise to stardom in the WWE, and a surprising turn to Hollywood as his next career endeavor.

His first proper role came in 2001's The Mummy sequel, The Mummy Returns, where he played the Scorpion King aided by some questionable early-00s CGI.

The Scorpion King returned to the big screen a year later in his own spinoff film. Despite primarily negative reviews from critics, The Rock had established himself as a leading man.

Johnson continued to secure mid-tier macho roles throughout the mid-00s. Some highlights included action films The Rundown and Doom, and even the football drama Gridiron Gang.

The Rundown

The remainder of the decade witnessed a slight change in direction for Johnson as he turned to more comedic and family-oriented films.


In what seemed like an unavoidable collision, Johnson then joined the large, diverse ensemble cast of the Fast and Furious franchise in Fast Five, often credited as turning around the series.

Johnson plays the character Luke Hobbs, who subsequently appeared in the 6th, 7th, and 8th installments of the saga and the 2019 Hobbs and Shaw spinoff film featuring Jason Statham.

The actor tried his hand at another big property in G.I. Joe with the 2013 sequel Retaliation, although no further sequel was ever made, and the toy-inspired franchise was rebooted.

Johnson even played the mythological hero Hercules in the 2014 film of the same name, as the performer found himself starring in several mediocre action films once again.

Other titles from this era include the disaster movie San Andreas, buddy-cop flick Central Intelligence, TV-remake Baywatch, video game adaptation Rampage, and action film Skyscraper.

Central Intelligence


He decided to rebrand himself, dropping the moniker of "The Rock" and picking better projects, starting with Moana in 2016, where he showed off his vocal talents with the song "You're Welcome."

Next up was the 2017 smash-hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a reimagining of the 1995 film for a new generation. The film quickly received a sequel, The Next Level, in 2019.

The Rock portrayed himself in Fighting with My Family, a film about WWE wrestler Paige, and most recently returned to the jungle for Disney in the theme park-inspired flick Jungle Cruise.

Johnson has now entered the ring of the streaming wars, starring in Red Notice, one of the biggest-budget films ever produced by Netflix, alongside Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot.

Next year Dwayne Johnson will suit up as DC's Black Adam in his debut film many years after his initial casting. Johnson says his character will change the hierarchy of power in the DCEU.

After over two decades of work in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson has established himself as one of the industry's last remaining big names that can sell a movie by star power alone.