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Is it just me? Or is Dwayne Johnson better than Arnie?

In our regular polarising-opinion series, one Total Film writer debates whether Dwayne Johnson is a better all-round action-star than the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Read on, and let us know if you agree with the argument put forward by having your say in the comments section below.

Is it just me? … Or is Dwayne Johnson better than Arnie? asks Jayne Nelson

Prepare to have your world Rock-ed. Because I’m absolutely certain that wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson will have a more epic acting career than bodybuilder-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Tough call, yes. But I’m convinced it’ll happen. Johnson is ready. He’s poised. He’s so close he can probably taste the gold of Arnie’s stolen crown while he’s cleaning his stupendously gleaming teeth at night. It’s not as though his career has been a disappointment so far, mind you: he was second on Forbes’ list of highest-earning actors for 2013-2014, earning a staggering $52m per year (beaten only by Robert Downey Jr.’s $75m).

He earns every cent, too: the guy never stops working. Whether it’s on his franchises (The Fast And The Furious, the Journeys...) or his one-offs (Pain & Gain, Snitch); his TV productions (The Hero, the upcoming Ballers); the occasional WWE Smackdown guest spot, or even, of course, all those hours he spends in the gym... well, you have to wonder when this Rock stops rolling and actually sleeps.

I’m not saying that Schwarzenegger never worked this hard. What I’m saying is that Johnson is doing it with more focus, more drive, more vigour. He wants to succeed in everything he does – to do things bigger and better than Arnold ever did.

He owes a lot to Schwarzenegger, of course, taking an eerily similar career path: using his muscles and size to gain recognition before taking on roles that make fun of his reputation – Johnson’s Tooth Fairy, for example, is basically Arnie’s Kindergarten Cop. But, while doing this, he has one big advantage over the Governator: he can actually act. Nobody would ever call Schwarzenegger a decent actor.

Arnie can perform adequately – and, yes, entertainingly – in just a small selection of states: stoic, angry, baffled or cocky. Johnson, on the other hand, has range. He can charm kids. He can scare adults. He can be grief-stricken. He can be silly. He has excellent comedy timing, even if you have to sit through Journey 2: The Mysterious Island to see it. In my opinion his best role to date – strangely enough, given that it’s a Michael Bay movie – is in Pain & Gain. He’s playing nothing more than a dumb thug, but he’s utterly compelling, the confusion, tension and stress of his character leaking from every pore. It’s a hint at what could come...

Because what Dwayne Johnson needs is a decent role that will take him off the ‘cheesy actor’ list. Arnie will be remembered for playing a cyborg; I suspect that Johnson’s signature role isn’t that far away. It could have been Hercules this past summer, but the sight of The Rock in a lion hat didn’t quite click with audiences. The role that will bring him respect as an actor – the one thing that’s eluded Schwarzenegger for his entire career – is still out there, but I’m sure it’ll happen. Or is it just me?

Agree or disagree with Jayne’s argument? Hit the comment section to air your view now!