Die Hard meets The Towering Inferno meets the artist formerly known as The Rock
Dwayne Johnson is back doing what he does best - looking buff and saving the day up a 3500ft tall building.It seems a long time ago that Dwayne Johnson was doing his old ‘can you smell what the Rock is cooking’ bit in the wrestling world. Yes indeed, he has cemented himself within the film industry and demonstrated that he is a surefire bet when it comes to casting the lead for someone who needs to be top of the class in both the nice guy and superhero departments.
He’s played all kinds of characters from all kinds of backgrounds and periods in time and now he’s teamed up with director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence) once more in this action flick that wishes it could be the love child of Die Hardand The Towering Inferno.
Wishes it could be the love child of Die Hard and The Towering Inferno.
10 years after a hostage situation goes horribly wrong former U.S war vet turned FBI agent Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), now with a prosthetic leg and a family, has taken up accessing security for high rise buildings. When the opportunity arises to be the security consultant for the Pearl, the world’s newest and largest skyscraper - a building that boasts an in-door park complete with waterfall not to mention the huge pearl dome at the very top kitted out with a super hi-tech hall of mirrors - Will whisks his wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and their two kids over to Hong Kong where domestic and professional bliss are almost at their fingertips.
But let us not forget this is a Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson movie that features one humungous building at the centre. Inevitably, it’s not long before things start to get in Will’s way and he realises he was just a small cog in a bigger wheel.
Without giving too much away, lets just say that courtesy of a group of bad guys a fire breaks out about halfway up the Pearl which traps not only Will’s wife and kids but the owner/creator of the building Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han) who has the proverbial key to end this madness. And so, with the lives of his beloved family in hot fiery danger, Will stops at nothing to get into the building, do the hero thing and save them.
Skyscraper does not fall short of the potential to induce vertigo in its audience and writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber utilises this at almost any given opportunity. Packing in as many eye-widening scenes that showcase the height of this ridiculously tall building, it’ll be enough to keep you sticking to relatively low structures for the foreseeable future.
Even inside the building the action doesn’t let up as bridges collapse and trees come crashing down - it definitely does not short change you on the action. Packed to the brim with CG sequences it does have the tendency to look a bit overkill at times, but that doesn’t take away from some of the more dramatic moments that will might you with sweaty palms.
Thurber’s storyline is extremely predictable and it’s roughly 15 minutes or so into the film by the time you can suss out who the bad guys are and what’s going to happen. In spite of this thought, it still manages to have fun and keeping within a tight running time it’s not overkill on exposition and doesn’t waste time building up to the next set piece. In fact, one of the cool things about Skyscraper is that everything that happens, happens for a reason - nothing is random and once those bits have their pay offs it’s oddly pleasing come the credits.
Dwayne Johnson has proven himself to play the perfect combination of ultimate nice guy with the ability to overcome practically anything and pull off doing it with style. And Skyscraper is no different. It’s clearly a Johnson vehicle and we all know what to expect when we see a movie like this. And to be fair, it ticks all the boxes and does exactly what it says on the tin.
Johnson’s Will is charming, likeable, at times funny and has no qualms about jumping off of a crane into a burning building all in order to save his family. Neve Campbell meanwhile, is very much secondary to Johnson but there are just a few moments when she does take back the lime light, albeit very briefly.
If you’re a fan of Dwayne Johnson and big budget action movies with tons of action then this is going to be right up your street.
Skyscraper is as generic as they come. It’s predictable, formulaic and certainly a bit cliched in places, but it’s fully aware of this and embraces it completely. It’s not as bad as San Andreas but no where near as good as Rampage (or Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) but if you’re a fan of Dwayne Johnson and big budget action movies with tons of action then this is going to be right up your street. It requires zero brain power and for 1 hour 42 minutes you can indulge in the complete sillyness and ridiculousness of this movie, knowing that your feet are firmly on the ground.
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