As a massive fan of Dwayne Johnson, I’m probably there for any movie he comes out with, no matter how ridiculous the story turns out to be. Even when he’s in anything bad, he still comes out as being the most redeemable aspect. Who doesn’t love The Rock? Morons. He re-teams with his Central Intelligence director Rawson Marshall Thurber to bring us the next “turn your brain off” summer action flick Skyscraper (Spoiler Alert: the Demi Lovato song doesn’t play during the end credits).
What’s the Story?: Will Sawyer (Johnson) is a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader after he lost his leg. Now he assesses security for skyscrapers. Years after his incident, he along with his wife and twin kids live in the newly built The Pearl, the tallest building in the world located in Hong Kong. But after a terrorist group sets the building on fire and holds hostage, Sawyer must save his family out to safety.
After watching the Super Bowl ad and the actual trailer the following morning, everybody, and I mean everybody, can easily look at Skyscraper thinking that it’s a combination of both Die Hard and The Towering Inferno. With bad guys taking over the building while being on fire? That isn’t easy to ignore. Will be you be watching those other two later in the day when this is over? Admittedly, yes. However, Skyscraper is pretty dumb for a PG-13 action film, but I won’t lie when I say it was at least enjoyable from a different perspective.
Even if you don’t like this at all, probably the most positive thing about this is that Johnson always give a good performance, and he does even when he’s working with a dull script. You do care for his character trying to find a way to get his family out of the building that’s taller than the Burj Khalifa. Still known for being a pretty solid dramatic actor, he seems believable as a family man. Nice to see Neve Campbell again in a movie because we all missed her. She and Johnson surprisingly had some good chemistry with each other. And you think she’s gonna end up being the damsel in distress, but no, she actually does something.
Is Skyscraper a ridiculous movie? Yes, because it’s what I expected going into it. This probably isn’t supposed to be something that’s gonna be taken seriously when the film is trying to harken back the classic action movies from the 80s when it wants to be taken seriously. This is a class act example of a guilty pleasure.
Most of the action was entertaining that Thurber and his cinematographer was able to capture, in an unrealistic manner. So many moments are very preposterous, but you have to leave it alone and not question it at least a couple times. Beyond ridiculous it was, there were a couple scenes that were surprising. I will say during the sequence with the crane, a point was given because someone made me laugh based on that person’s reaction.
It also has a fair share of generic villains. Not memorable to the point where you don’t give the time of day know what their strategy is when they take over the top floor of the building; you’re just waiting till they bite it. And when you have Noah Taylor in your movie, you already know what kind of character he’s gonna end up being.
The biggest negative that Skyscraper has is that this kind of storyline has been done many times before with the ending with the same outcome. Nothing honestly came off as original enough when Thurber wrote the script. After Die Hard came out, nearly every action movie has been copying off the success in a different location and relatable hero to latch onto on a huge budget. Because of that, it’s very predictable how everything will come to an end. And by predictable, I mean I feel like the last trailer showed the whole movie, in my opinion.
With Skyscraper, this isn’t exactly a good movie, but there’s some fun to be found from a few moments without being bored. The reason why this didn’t turn into a pile of garbage because expectations weren’t high or it looked enough to give a slight pass to say it’s worth matinee if anyone cares to check it out. Personally, I found more enjoyment out of this than Johnson’s earlier film this year, Rampage.
Skyscraper does lack originality for a storyline that’s been done a dozen times, however, it’s ridiculous enough to consider this dumb action movie mildly fun. Grade: C+