Out Now On-Demand
Dwayne Johnson re-teams with his Central Intelligence director for this hostage action-thriller, set in Hong Kong's tallest building. Co-starring Neve Campbell.
Former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Ford (Johnson) now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong, Ford finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze with his wife and kids inside, and he's been framed for it. Ford must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family.
- Rawson Marshall Thurber('Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story', 'We're the Millers', 'Central Intelligence')
Action, Thriller, Blockbuster
Rating: M Violence & offensive language
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson trying to save his family from paramilitary criminals in an enormous building they've set on fire should make for an amazing movie. Alas, it's watered down in that way most modern blockbusters are, but it's still crazy enough to be nicely entertaining.
Ever since the first poster of Johnson leaping to his doom was released, Skyscraper made clear that things like physics and reason weren't going to be important considerations, and this devil-may-care attitude extends to the plot. Like, Johnson's character is presented by news media as a criminal who started the disaster; but whenever he appears on public TV screens, the people of Hong Kong inexplicably cheer him on. Then at the end, perhaps in a nod to Hong Kong cinema, a huge crowd of strangers cheers The Rock on for several minutes straight, with the sort of over-the-top enthusiasm usually reserved for pop concerts. It's great.
Despite the extreme silliness, everything is played with an attempted seriousness that actually helps. There's no winky, Snakes on a Plane-style self-awareness here. It's genuine schlock. The combat-based action scenes are lacklustre, edited in a way where you can't see what's happening and certainly don't feel the hits. But the vertigo inducing sequences of sky-high spectacle are brilliant. Yes they're created with CGI and yes we know Johnson isn't ever in any real peril, because he's The Rock, but they're still very well done and make for an occasionally tense, sweaty palm watch.
A lot of credit should be given to the visual effects team, who have pulled off a lot of lovely tricks in Skyscraper - like the titular building itself, which is super cool in a wonderous, sci-fi kind of way. I do wish the film had more of an edge and decent fight scenes, but it delivers the low-level thrills the synopsis promises well enough to recommend.
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
Sydney Morning Herald
It has its rather "thrilling" moments, but ultimately falls from cliche, predictability and an unengaging plot.
I'm not the type of person that turns their brain off to enjoy something stupid and bad. I don't know if I'd call Skyscraper a "good" movie. It's derivative and watered down, an inferior remake of Die Hard, but I kinda enjoyed it as a guilty pleasure. I never felt bored. At times it's actually quite effective. The Rock hanging off a crane and climbing around the skyscraper gave me a visceral reaction a couple of times. The fight scenes aren't anything special. Dumb as f**k and predictable script. But Dwyane Johnson is so likeable and charismatic that he kept me invested. Silly but fun.
Why so serious, Rocky?
I don't think anyone goes to a movie by The Rock and expects to have their view of the view changed. They expect to sit down for a couple hours, turn their brain off and have a blast. The Rock will kick ass, make you laugh, and charm you. This movie does a decent enough job of doing elements of those things, while also providing enough spectacle one would also expect from a blockbuster.
Where the movie lost me is the absence of humour. While it wasn't an entirely serious movie, it was still more serious than I would hope from a movie with The Rock. The Rock is charismatic as all hell, but here he actually manages to overreach into territory he's clearly not the best at. His character was a generic, brilliant, family man, and lacked the charm & wit one would hope. Even Die Hard has plenty of charm & wit to it, despite never being considered a comedy.
Despite the lack of charm, and humour, the movie does deliver an otherwise entertaining (if a bit too long) movie. It continues the trend of Hollywood movies included Chinese actors to cater to that growing market, but thankfully they don't really feel like token characters, however I can't help but wonder why they wouldn't have just made his wife Chinese to help bridge that gap better. Despite what I've said, if you've watched San Andreas, and the trailers for this and thought it looks like your cup of tea, then it honestly probably is. It's an easy movie to sit through, just leave your expectations & brain at the door.
Film Review: SKYSCRAPER
Ok, so, um... As DIE HARD is my all-time favourite Christmas movie, it's nice to see it being remade - for kids... and those with single legs... and bald people... and, um... Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's nice isn't he? Can't wait for him to be President... um... Hey, loved his song in MOANA, right?
So, ok... It. Was. Fun. But if you, like me groaned with pain through the awfulness of RAMPAGE and its lack of self-aware humour, then get ready to grrrrrrrrrrooooooaaaaaaan again. Loudly.
The Rock. One legged. A skyscraper. Some generic Euro-baddies. Explosions. Fights. Happy resolution.
Seriously, I've seen DIE HARD like 15 times and yet it still manages to feel fresher, and far, far more fun than, um TALLBUILDINGER.
Is it just me or are all these big budget kid-friendly "The Rock" action blockbuster movies just blurring into one now??? ;)
Alternative titles that occured to me as I tried not to doze off:
DIE HOP: DIE HOPPIER
DIE HOP: HOP HARD WITH A VEGAN
Fans of RAMPAGE will love. Fans of Michael Bay style TRANSFORMERS 2 through 6 will love. Dwayne fans will love. Um... Me? I should have taken a sleeping bag or a book. And I say that as someone who has sat through and had fun with pretty much all the last three FAST & FURIOUSLY BALDING cartoons... I mean movies...