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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the “Hollywood Movie Star of the Week”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The 2011 summer movie season was supposed to begin with “Thor.” But one week before Marvel Studio and Paramount Pictures introduced audience members to the God of Thunder, a couple of action movie gods clashed in Rio De Janeiro, stealing a little bit of Thor’s own thunder as they set their own thunder.

We’re talking about “Fast Five,” the latest in the lucrative “The Fast and the Furious” franchise that earned a record-setting $86 million in its opening weekend, setting the bar for all of the high-octane action films that are sure to follow in its tire tracks this season. But while Vin Diesel and Paul Walker were welcome veterans of the franchise, it was the series’ burly newcomer who had audiences and critics talking.

Dwayne Johnson, forever known to us as The Rock, joined the “Fast” crew as Hobbs, the federal bulldog ordered to bring Diesel and Walker to justice. But it was the bone-crunching fight between Johnson and Diesel that brought this speedy installment to a halt, with audience members watching with mouths hanging open as these heavyweights punched, kicked, threw and slammed with all of their might. It put the “Furious” into “Fast Five,” and automatically made the film a must see in theaters.

Even though “Thor” opens in theaters, we’re honestly wondering if “Fast Five” has a chance at holding off the superhero and maintaining its hold on the box office’s No. 1 slot. For his consistency and vitality in a franchise that’s still going strong, we are proud to announce that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the “Hollywood Movie Star of the Week.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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