Skyscraper Film Review
Dwayne Johnson has become the go-to action star of our time. What used to be Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, for the past years has been The Rock. And it’s OK. Every generation need one, and we’ve accepted The Rock as our (film) savior. Oh, he’s at it again. Saving I mean… His latest flick is Skyscraper and well…. It’s not that great to be honest.
Johnson is Will Sawyer in Skyscraper. A former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and amputee, who now assesses security for skyscrapers. Early in the movie, it’s revealed that Will has been hired to assess the security for “The Pearl” 3,500 feet (1,100 m) and 240 stories tall building in Hong Kong. The skyscraper is high tech and state of the art structure, and it’s financed by Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), a Chinese business man who is not without enemies. One of those enemies is Kores Botha (Roland Moller), a terrorist kingpin who is after not just Ji, but a very valuable information that Ji has. So, Botha will start a fire in the 96th floor of the building, and right there is Sawyer’s wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and his 2 children. From then on, Will is on a race against time to save them, and he hasn’t got plenty of that.
This movie had a potential, even with the feeling of it being a Die Hard/Towering Inferno rip off. Made primarily for the Chinese market, a large portion of the cast (besides the setting) is from Asian decent. And the actors who are actually familiar with the western audience, are demoted for a secondary and forgettable characters. Actors like Noah Taylor and Pablo Schreiber, who otherwise in a very different movie, could have been amazing and could have put on a greater impact.
But this is Rock’s movie and it’s treated as such. He’s given a generic villain (the otherwise amazing Roland Moller) and very generic lines to fill in the time not occupied by terrible CGI and awful set pieces. Frankly, the only thing that stops the visuals from being a total bust is the amazing cinematography from Robert Elswit.
However, even The Rock and his amazing charisma can’t save this movie, and that’s the hard truth. He’s no Bruce Willis, and the plot of this movie is so basic and under-developed that we’re having hard time being interested or invested. Seriously. What supposed to be a nail-biting excitement was an extreme bore. What supposed to be action from a Dwayne Johnson proportions was actually cheap looking stunts filled fil bad CGI.
Sawyer is saving his family in the tallest building in the world, but is there really no one else in it? Furthermore, Johnson plays emotionally damaged and physically crippled man who’s given a new lease of life, but we hardly get to see any of that emotional turmoil. That internal conflict between the man he once was and what’s become of him, now that he’s a family man. I liked the fact that we were given a flash back scene as a character introduction. We get to see the circumstances regarding Sawyer’s disability, his current married life and what his job was before. It’s not the most informative scene, but it actually helps to paint the picture about the main character.
Oh and speaking of family, I have to give my regards to Rawson Marshall Thurber for not making Sarah a typical damsel in distress. In a muscle and action dominated movie like Skyscraper, she’s actually useful and a bad-ass, despite that her hopeless introduction to the movie would have us believe. She’s an ex combat medic. She speaks several languages and she’s (thank God), not a damsel in distress. She’s tough, resourceful and smart, besides being supportive wife and mother. In a movie with so few characters to like, i loved her.
You can safely say that she’s the only ray of joy in this vastly empty and joyless movie. And it’s such a shame. It had potential to become something. Something other than it’s become of this forgettable movie.