A security expert must infiltrate a burning skyscraper, 225 stories above ground, when his family is trapped inside by criminals.
He’s fought pro wrestlers, ninja’s, and giant mutated animals and now he faces off against his most aggressive adversary… a building!
You will read a lot of people complaining about the unrealistic action sequences in this movie but this is The Rock and that man can do whatever he damn well pleases! Skyscraper received criticism as soon as the first trailer dropped specifically around the money-shot of Dwayne Johnson jumping from a crane into a burning building, but I urge everyone to not over-think the realism of the stunts. The movie never pretends to be something it’s not, it’s intended to be a crazy, fun and over the top action movie and that’s exactly what it is.
Skyscraper doesn’t waste any time throwing us into the action and opens with Johnson’s character, FBI hostage rescue team leader ‘Will Sawyer’ losing a leg when a mission goes wrong. Praise should be given to Writer/Director Rawson Marshall Thurber for adding some originality into the story by making the hero have a prosthetic leg. Dwayne Johnson is always seen as an unbeatable brute force however adding a disability made him a more relatable character, his motivations for the heroic acts are saving his family and not the over-confidence in his physique like you see in many of his other roles.
One disappointment I had story-wise was Pablo Schreiber’s character being completely underused, he was introduced and then removed from the movie too quickly and I felt he could have had a larger role to play, however, he was used in a tense and exciting fight scene so it’s not all bad. The rest of the supporting cast performed well, particularly Neve Campbell who’s strong persona reminds me of her most iconic role of ‘Sidney Prescott’ in the Scream movies.
There are a few scenes in Skyscraper that can give the feeling of vertigo and I caution you if you are afraid of heights to be prepared, however, this is to be expected in a movie based in a building 3500 feet tall. Heights do not normally affect me but in a sequence when Dwayne Johnson has to scale the outside of the building even I couldn’t help feeling a little dizzy.
The design of the building known as ‘The Pearl’ is impressive, Production Designer Jim Bissell and his team created a slick visual spectacle and though I have no knowledge of architecture, its grand design does not feel far-fetched compared to real modern buildings such as the Burj Khalifa and the Shanghai Tower. It’s clear that a lot of planning went into the interior for The Pearl, although much of the movie is spent on the higher floors, the building does not feel hollow and includes shopping areas, apartments, gardens and an observation deck with a break taking a 360-degree view of Hong Kong.
Many people call Skyscraper a mash-up between Die Hard and The Towering Inferno, yes there are similarities between them however I do not see this as a discredit to Skyscraper. Both Die Hard and The Towering Inferno are beloved classics and Skyscraper feels like it takes the exciting elements from those movies but adapts them into the modern era. The movie has gripping sequences of heart-pounding action that will keep you entertained and there are also silly unrealistic moments throughout such as duct tape being strong enough to tape around your hands and scale the outside of a building!
Skyscraper is a fun thriller and I had a good time watching it, it’s no masterpiece but it certainly doesn’t deserve all the criticism it receives. If you enjoy Dwayne Johnson’s movies and explosive action, then you will enjoy this movie.