When you start your film career under a stage name as silly as "The Rock," you're going to deal with some skepticism, but little by little, Dwayne Johnson has proven himself to be one of the most engaging action stars working today.

So why has he spent the last few years almost exclusively making films for children?

We have so few great action stars these days that it's upsetting to see a guy like this benched for several of his prime years doing things like "The Tooth Fairy."  Thankfully, this year might shake up some of what we've come to expect from Johnson.  First, he's got a great role in the ferociously dirty and weird "The Other Guys," and then he's making a flat-out no-apologies action film for the first time in a while.

I visited the set of "Faster" earlier this year for an afternoon, and we didn't see much of the film.  This trailer fills out some of what I heard during the set visit and gives me a real sense of what it is we might expect from the film when it opens.

And as of right now?  I'm interested.

The trailer doesn't quite get into it, but this is a movie that deals in archetypes.  You've got characters known only as "The Driver" and "The Cop," and it's an incredibly linear revenge story about a guy getting out of jail and going straight after the people who put him there and who got his brother killed.  Religion plays a big part in the film, so it's nice the trailer touches on that.  And the little bit you see in the trailer of Dwayne walking down a hall firing at someone?  That's the day we were there, standing about six feet away.

Check out the trailer:

 

 

Fingers crossed this is nothing but badass.  And that it's the start of a trend for Johnson.  We need action guys who can act and who can really deliver on the big emotional stuff even as we believe they are capable of kicking the crap out of a room full of people.  Not many people pass that test these days, but Dwayne Johnson certainly does.

"Faster" will be in theaters November 24, 2010.

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