Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has some broad shoulders. The question is whether they’re broad enough to hold afloat a movie like The Game Plan. It’s a movie type in which many have tried to succeed in (Hulk Hogan in Mr. Nanny and Vin Diesel in The Pacifier come to mind) and failed. There’s a general reason for that — America doesn’t like to see their tough guy, brutish heroes turned into homos.
Luckily for us, Mr. Johnson already exudes a touch of that limp-wristed fragrance. No, I’m not insinuating that he is gay, I’m just pointing out the obvious fact that he is pretty and, although he is a big guy, he comes across as generally likable and nonthreatening. That spells big bucks for Hollywood and their ever increasing desire to market their films to women, children and homosexuals.
The Game Plan is basically cut from the same mold as every other mother/father-son/daughter rediscovering their kinship through stupid and untimely happenings movie. The Rock plays womanizing narcissist Joe Kingman, the quarterback of the Boston Rebels. He’s a guy with it all — a fast car, awesome penthouse apartment, adoring fans — and unbeknownst to him, a daughter named Peyton (Madison Pettis). But that all changes when one day, out of the blue, she shows up in the lobby of his building eager to put a crimp in his bachelor ways.
The next 90 minutes goes through the proverbial stages of parenting 101, Hollywood style. First stage we have the inattentive, clueless parent. Joe forgets his daughter at a nightclub and he directs his daughter around like she is a scripted play in his football playbook. Stage two, is where the parent begins to get a clue. Joe signs Peyton up for ballet classes, gets a minivan and finally furnishes a room for his daughter. The last stage is where the parent finds they can’t go back to their old lifestyle when confronted with their child leaving. Joe goes above and beyond his comfort zone to be involved with Payton by being a part of her play and proclaiming his love for her before the big game. It’s all very cutesy and all very humdrum.
What is good though, is the acting of Madison Pettis. She is hard to not like even though her character is a conniving little smartass. She’s got a charming smile and carried herself like a seasoned professional. Kyra Sedgwick took time out of her grueling schedule of shooting The Closer to take on the bit part of superbitch agent Stella Peck. She happily reminds us all as to why everyone hates agents (they’re one track minded, greedy assholes). I would have liked to see more of Roselyn Sanchez who plays Monique Vasquez, Peyton’s ballet school teacher. I’m guessing she was supposed to play the love interest for Joe but it never fully materializes and she is instead relegated to more of a confusing friend status. And I’m not just saying we needed to see more of her so the blossoming love portion of the movie could be fulfilled or because she is a beautiful woman (she is), I’m saying it because there is just way too many scenes of Dwayne Johnson in some varying form of undress. Sure he’s ripped guy, but I could have done without the hundreds of flexing scenes littered about the film.
No doubt The Game Plan will be a big family hit for Disney. It’s great for the young ones and the mothers will love to see The Rock in all his glory. Personally, I was more impressed with the fantastic job Dwayne Johnson is doing to reinvent himself as an actor (he’s trying like hell to distance himself from “The Rock” moniker). He’s proved he can carry a film, now he’s got to prove he can do it consistently. Only time will tell if his game plan was drafted properly . . .