In an age where even the biggest of blockbusters aspire to be important, some movies are only here to satisfy the audiences desire to be entertained. That’s where most of Dwayne Johnson’s movies land these days as he has embraced the musclebound hero role like no one else has. In Skyscraper, he continues down that path with the finesse of a heavy-duty crane crashing against the side of a burning building.
Former Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) moves with his family into a skyscraper in Hong Kong where he also runs the security. What makes this place special isn’t just that it’s now officially the tallest building in the world, but it’s also considered the safest as well. This seems to be a place anyone would want to live, but that sentiment is called into question when a criminal outfit decides to test just how flawless and protected this building is.
With Skyscraper, you pretty much get what you’re expecting beforehand. After some setup, they don’t spend too much time outside of the action that people will be paying to see. For people like me, this is something that I’m able to savor since some movies seem to want to take longer than they need to these days. In my opinion, it’s a part of modern cinema that prevents some movies from being great or even serviceable at the very least.
Since we’re not getting a movie that’s longer than necessary, we’re introduced to the characters and the events that surround them fairly soon. Of course with this being an action movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you know he’s going to have everything riding against him in the form of terrifying odds. That usually means some tough villains, but that’s not completely the case this time around.
Instead being the focal point of the danger Johnson’s character faces, the villains act as secondary antagonists in Skyscraper. They don’t really matter all that much, and are only here because they have to be. They kind of remind me of the guys from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle when you think about it that way. It’s a little different, but they don’t have much personality and could have probably been written out of it completely if the screenwriters tried hard enough.
The real fight is between Dwayne Johnson’s Will Sawyer and the massive skyscraper that threatens the lives of his family. During this heavyweight bout, some of the things you expect to be here are present. A lot of it comes down to the harmful and potentially deadly obstacles he faces as he tries to rescue his family from the fire that’s consuming the building and eventually those generic villains that I just touched on.
Some may not realize this ahead of time, but Sawyer is an amputee as well. Because of this, you know his prosthetic leg will come into play as well. From the outset, it’s an obvious thing since there would be no real reason to have that included otherwise. All you wanted them to do with it is get creative with the opportunities that it allows them to have. In reality, it doesn’t take up too much of the action, but it’s here, present, and a welcome addition throughout the adventure.
With that and the fact that Skyscraper is kind of a ripoff of Die Hard in a few ways, you thought they might get more insane than they actually do. To my surprise, they decided to play this a little more seriously than I figured they would. In a way, you can say that this takes away from some of the entertainment value we get, but ultimately, it’s still fun and crazy in a few instances.
Simply put, Skyscraper is an action movie where you’re going to get what you’re probably hoping for. It’s not some epic picture that’s trying to grab you by your soul and have a social impact in the process. It just wants to thrill those who choose to watch it. As much as I can appreciate movies, with the desire to accomplish that, I’m also more than willing to enjoy something that only wants you to revel in its absurdity.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Film Length: 103 minutes
Release Date: July 13, 2018
Distributor: Universal Pictures
- Score - 7/107/10