SKYSCRAPER review by Ronnie Malik – Dwayne Johnson must break into a TALL building

SKYSCRAPER review by Ronnie Malik – Dwayne Johnson must break into a TALL building

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Pablo Schreiber, Byron Mann, Hannah Quinlivan, and Noah Taylor.

Rating: C-

With elements copied from films like 1988’s DIE HARD and 1974’s THE TOWERING INFERNO, SKYSCRAPER is the latest movie venture rejoining director Rawson Marshall Thurber (CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE) with Dwayne Johnson. The two Hollywood powerhouses team up for a big budget action thriller with lots of bells and whistles thrown in to wow moviegoers. Will this high rise action thriller live up to its hype or just burn and become a pile of ash?

Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), a former war veteran and FBI team leader, is currently acting as a security team advisor. He deals with the emotional trauma of a mission gone wrong in which he lost his leg. What saves the overachieving hero from despair is the love of his wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and their two beautiful children. Will is charged with advising Chinese billionaire Zhao Min Zhi (Chin Han) on how to secure his visionary skyscraper called The Pearl. The building, making Dubai’s famed architectural wonder Burj Khalifa pale in comparison, gets the seal of approval from Will as being impenetrable.

Disaster strikes when the luxury high-rise is suddenly engulfed in flames with Will’s family and Zhoa Min Zhi, along with his team, are trapped inside. Desperate to save his family, Will sets himself on a rescue mission. Of course, nothing is going to be easy for our hero as he finds himself facing outlandish and impossible obstacles he must overcome in order to save the day. Our handsome lead actor gets chased, beaten, stabbed, and wounded, and manages to survive what would have killed most normal men in the first act. Dangerous terrorists and outlandish stunts that defy gravity or any sense of logic are thrown in to keep audiences engaged but will only cause a lot of eye rolling and giggles.

Johnson is endearing and charismatic as ever as the venerable, brave and noble father risking his life to for his family, but not even his captivating presence and charm can save SKYSCRAPER from burning to the ground. There is virtually no character development in the film, and the choppy dialogue filled with silly one-liners does nothing to keep this film standing upright. The main villain, a stereotypical thug, did not come close to being as memorable as Alan Rickman playing the villain in the original DIE HARD.

With themes obviously being stolen from past action adventure flicks like MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, THE FUGITIVE, and of course DIE HARD, this production lacks imagination and originality. The crazy stunts do offer up some entertainment, but for the most part SKYSCRAPER is very outlandish and far-fetched… it seems the filmmakers didn’t care. They just threw in a bunch of outrageous mind boggling special effects hoping that will be enough to make this production a profitable summer blockbuster. More than likely this over-the-top action movie is going to quickly come crumbling down once the fire is put out.

SKYSCRAPER opens July 13, 2018

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