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  Publicity Stills of "The Game Plan"
(Courtesy from BVI)

Director: Andy Fickman
Cast: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Roselyn Sanchez, Kyra Sedgwick, Morris Chestnut, Madison Pettis, Gordon Clapp, Kate Nauta, Paige Turco
RunTime: 1 hr 50 mins
Released By: BVI
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.gameplanmovie.com


Opening Day: 1 November 2007


Story of rugged superstar quarterback Joe Kingman (DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON), whose Boston-based team is chasing a championship. A ‘serial bachelor’, Kingman is living the ultimate fantasy: he’s rich, famous and the life of the party. But this dream is suddenly sacked for a loss when he discovers the 7-year-old daughter (newcomer MADISON PETTIS) he never knew he had – the product of a last fling before parting years ago with his young wife.

Movie Review:

I suspect the key to success in Hollywood for tough guys is one, either you choose to work with kids, or you go straight to video.

Take for example The Terminator now Governor of California, Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger who once did a holiday-theme movie with a very young Anakin Skywalker called “Jingle All the Way” or in recent times if you recall, Mr XXX aka Vin Diesel has to resort to baby-sitting kids in “The Pacifier”. Even our very own Asia action star Jackie Chan has to sing lullabies in “Rob-B-Hood”.

With “The Game Plan”, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has joined the league as Joe Kingman, an over-the-top, egoistic quarterback who unexpectedly found out he has a daughter (Disney Channel‘s Madison Pettis) from his past marriage.

Kingman is huge not in terms of build and biceps, he is rich, famous and is on the way to snag the championship for his football team. Of course, jokes are bound to arise when you put a bachelor with an 8 year-old girl. Give that guy a football and he can easily make it fly but how does a tough guy deal with a little girl here? Easy. The screenwriters manage to make Kingman tries ballet and putting him in a bubble bath all for the sake of his daughter. This is a Disney-friendly flick after all. Kids just want to have fun seeing adults in dire situations. And we have plenty of that right here.

Fortunately, Dwayne Johnson is a comedic natural. His charming personality makes Kingman so likeable by the audience despite his character is an untouchable sportsman. Having a six year-old daughter in real-life might have helped in his cohesion with his co-star, Pettis. There are genuine scenes whereby you are moved by Dwayne and Pettis. Dwayne who is a fan of Elvis Presley off-camera has a great time hamming it up onscreen with his character being a fan of “The King”. At least Dwayne’s version of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” isn’t that annoying.

Possibly knowing the material on hold is pretty weak to sustain the attention span of full-grown adults, director Andy Fickman who previously did the enjoyable Amanda Bynes “She’s The Man” throws in interludes of hard-hitting football action to mellow the sweetness by a notch. You got to admit Fickman has the flair of getting you hooked with the weird combination of kids and sports.

As with every feel-good Disney’s materials, we got the hidden messages in “The Game Plan”. Money and fame can’t buy you true love at the end of the day. We got that! At least the kiddos around me were entertained and eyes glued onscreen throughout the 110 minutes and that’s truly what money can’t buy.

I got a feeling Dwayne Johnson will have a bright acting career in Hollywood when the credits rolled. You know why some action stars that were huge in the past can only grace the video shelves nowadays? The magic word: Kids.

Movie Rating:

(With The Game Plan, “The Rock” has successfully turned into “The King” of box-office!)

Review by Linus Tee


. Rob-B-Hood (2006)

. The Pacifier (2005)

. Herbie Fully Loaded (2005)

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