The Game Plan
Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, seems like a genial sort. The ex college footballer, ex WWE star broke into movies playing the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns seven years ago and proved his box office credentials with Walking Tall in 2004, but he's resisted the obvious action movie route. Instead he played gay in Be Cool and managed to retain his dignity (no easy task in that movie); turned in a perfectly respectable performance in The Gridiron Gang, and plunged headlong into Richard Kelly's gonzo Southland Tales.
The Game Plan is nothing to write home about - unless you're eight years old and habitually wear a tutu, or live with someone that description applies to - in which case it may be the very thing. Johnson plays Joe Kingman, star NFL quarterback with the Boston Rebels.
Joe is a superb athlete, drives sports cars, dates supermodels and loves his life almost as much as he loves himself. He has an ego the size of a cruise ship but underneath it all he's basically harmless. Then Peyton (Madison Pettis) shows up on his doorstep, a curly-haired moppet who says she's the daughter he never knew he had - and mom wants her to stay with him for a spell while she distributes aid to starving children in Africa.
You can guess the rest - and if your guess involves little miss Sunshine cramping Joe's playboy lifestyle, threatening his lucrative sponsorship deals, and coating his trophy ball with glitter, then you're definitely on the right track.
The message here is that a little girl needs a father, but also that even a he-man isn't a real man until he's got in touch with his feminine side. To which end the Rock submits to ballet and make up sessions.
Kyra Sedgwick overplays Joe's bitch agent, and at 110 minutes the movie outstays its welcome and then some, but it's such a fundamentally inoffensive piece of fluff you're likely to give it a free pass on the logic front and let the little ones enjoy it for what it is. As for Johnson, he's a pretty good comic actor and obviously game for a laugh; the big girl's blouse.
Titles related to this article