Skyscraper (2018) – A Review
Dwayne Johnson continues to be one of the biggest, most popular action stars around – despite starring in a chorus line of forgettable, disposable flicks that have become unrelenting.
I completely forget that most of his movies exist. It’s only when I stumble onto one on cable when I’m reminded – “Oh yeah, he was in San Andreas, Hercules, Baywatch, G.I. Joe: Retaliation….”
Yet, somehow audiences love Johnson so much they keep going to see these movies and making a lot of them hits. That’s more of an amazing feat than any of the dazzling action his movies contain.
In this movie – that I’ll be forgetting about in T-minus five minutes – Johnson plays a one-legged, family man who’s interviewing for a security job at the world’s tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong. His wife Neve Campbell and their two kids are there with him enjoying the amazing hi-techness of this place.
Terrorists break into the place, set it on fire with the hopes of kidnapping big honcho Chin Han. Now Campbell and the kids are trapped and it’s up to Johnson to get inside, do lot’s of ‘spectacular’ stunts, save his family, kill the terrorists and put out the fire.
Skyscraper is meant to be something of a Die Hard/Towering Inferno hybrid. The only thing it resembles from those two movies is having a tall building in it.
This is a very bad movie. There are no surprises, no memorable characters, the stunts are yawn-inducing and everything looks so synthetic with the heavy use of CGI it’s like your’e watching a video game with actors pasted onto the screen.
I’m always stuck by how audiences are willing to accept these hollow big-budget Hollywood action movies they spit out today that offer nothing. It was obvious from the first trailers this was going to be dripping with lousy looking CGI, but still audiences went. I don’t understand what audiences standards are anymore.
Enduring the boring sequences that this movie cooks up was a real struggle. Not one action set piece stands out. There are no stakes or suspense. Johnson is a banal hero to follow around. I know the guys got charisma, but here he’s just washed down to be a straight laced, one-dimensional cardboard action hero.
I think they thought by giving him one-leg it was going to be an interesting character choice, maybe make us like him more and give this guy an added obstacle to overcome. It didn’t work for me and I ended up thinking it was a pretty pointless addition in this.
The bad guys are Movie Villains 101. I do not remember a single thing about them. I don’t remember what they wanted or why. I can’t even remember if they spoke with accents or anything! Johnson’s friend betraying him is something you can see coming in his introductory scene. No surprise there.
Campbell is given very little to do, but await her hubby to save her. Actually, this all might have been a more interesting movie if it was just about her and the kids trapped in this skyscraper. That might’ve been more compelling than watching Johnson jump and swing in front of green screens.
I was really gobsmacked with the big climax. Here we have a movie about the worlds tallest skyscraper on fire, and what’s the big exciting ribbon to this – having a shoot-out in a big computer graphic room with the bad guys. Wow.
And was it thrilling with Johnson tricking the bad guys in a series of mirror images in this giant room? That would be a big NO!
But what about the fire that’s burning up the building??? No worries, Campbell turns on the sprinkler system and puts out the fire. All done. All you firman that have been standing around for the past two hours were never needed.
It’s almost like the movie just gives up in the last half hour! It’s like, they thought up – “Ok, we can have Johnson make a dramatic, ludicrous leap into the building. He can cling to the side of it. Maybe even swing around it!”
“Alright, then what happens?”
“I don’t know. We’ll come up with something. Maybe he has a shoot out and they push the button to put out the fire. Who cares! The shots of Dwayne jumping will really sell the movie! They’ll look great in the trailers and on posters!”
And I guess that worked, since Skyscraper was a big hit. Plus, setting this in Hong Kong probably really helped with selling Chinese tickets. I don’t know if any of those who went to see it remembered it past opening weekend though.
This was truly an awful movie. I don’t think I have anything positive to say for it. I’ll give Hannah Quinlivan a mention since she caught my eye in this mess and I thought she was pretty as a bad girl. It seemed like she was meant to be like Maggie Q in Live Free or Die Hard.
Forget Skyscraper, although most have watched this dreck already. It’s shameful that they had the nerve to even try to make the comparison to Die Hard or The Towering Inferno with this lazy crap.
If you’re looking for a better made, visually impressive ‘building-on-fire-movie’ go watch 2012’s South Korean film The Tower. It has better characters, more exciting set pieces and ends up being a much more of an epic suspenseful tale than Skyscraper could ever even dream of being.
I don’t know how much longer Johnson can keep churning out movies like this and remain a big star. His likability has got to only carry himself so far and audiences will swallow junk like this, right? He’s really got to start providing more worthwhile entertainment to his fans.
Here’s the trailer