“Skyscraper” stars Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Pablo Schreiber, Byron Mann, Hannah Quinlivan, and Noah Taylor. Released on July 13, 2018, the film is about a former FBI rescue team leader who must rescue his family from a bunch of criminals inside the world’s tallest building.
The film is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who also directed “DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story”, “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh”, “We’re the Millers”, and “Central Intelligence”. We’ve seen the mighty Dwayne Johnson battle giant mutant animals a few months ago. Now, he’s taking on a group of terrorists inside a tall building that’s on fire. Man, no wonder I love this guy so much. Inspired by the likes of “Die Hard” and “The Towering Inferno”, this latest thrill ride reunites Johnson with director Rawson Marshall Thurber after their success on “Central Intelligence” back in 2016. Since Thurber is mostly known for directing comedies, seeing him helming an action film like this feels pretty refreshing to me. Of course, that’s not the only reason why I wanted to see it. My other reason was Dwayne Johnson himself, who’s been working really hard to impress his fans by appearing in a lot of action-packed projects. I had a lot of fun watching him in “Rampage”, so let’s see if he can create that type of fun again in this.
Johnson flexes his muscles once again as he portrays Will Sawyer, a former FBI agent and amputee who now works as a security monitor for the world’s tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong known as “The Pearl”. Sawyer believes that it is possible for someone to break into the building despite his bosses telling him that it is 100% safe. First rule of managing a building, people: always be prepared for something that may or may not happen. When a terrorist group invades The Pearl and sets it ablaze, Sawyer must find a way inside and foil their plan. His mission gets even more challenging when he is framed for the attack and discovers that his family is trapped inside the burning building. If there’s one thing that you should know about this film, it’s that it really took the inspiration of “Die Hard” and “Towering Inferno” a bit too literally. It’s like if these two movies got married and had a baby, that baby would be “Skyscraper”. It follows the basic structure that we’ve seen many times before, especially the cliched terrorist leader, and there were some cheesy moments that were admittedly laughable. However, it doesn’t exactly mean that it’s not entertaining. Thurber’s first attempt at the action genre may not be perfect, but if you manage to not worry so much about its noticeable cliches and its flawed story, you might have a splendid time watching Dwayne Johnson fight terrorists in a blazing building as well. Johnson was once again highly enjoyable in his role as Sawyer. What I liked about him is that he has a determination to save his family despite having lost his leg during a failed FBI mission. I could definitely see this role being challenging for Johnson because his character has to fight for his life with only one leg, making him a bit more vulnerable compared to Johnson’s other roles. The rest of the cast were good in their roles, but I think Johnson made the film enjoyable for me. As a director who’s known for making people laugh, Thurber has an impressive knack at keeping the thrills and the action consistent and intense. Despite the fact that some of the heart-pounding stunts were highly unbelievable (like the recent Fast and Furious films), Thurber’s direction and Robert Elswit’s cinematography were able to capture the exact feeling of being so high up in the air that it’s almost impossible for me to not look down.
Overall, “Skyscraper” is exactly what you would expect from a physics-defying summer thrill ride. All you need to do is grab some popcorn, don’t think too much, and just enjoy. The film’s cliched plot is hard to avoid, but the presence of Dwayne Johnson and its heart-pounding stunts made it all worthwhile. A minor step down from “Rampage”, but still entertaining for what it’s trying to be. If you liked Johnson in his other films, this one is worth a watch.