SHOULD I SEE IT?
Although I am not sure this was the intent of Skyscraper, Dwayne Johnson does a masterful job of making us engage with this hogwash, but also letting us know that he also knows this thing is ridiculous and he’s along for the ride.
The visual effects and CGI work are pretty impressive. Beyond that, Neve Campbell - it is good to have you back in the multiplex.
Although this could be an encouragement to see it, Skyscraper is absurd, empty-headed, and completely ludicrous. Some will not have the patience with it others have.
The Incredibles 2 is playing down the hall. Ant-Man and the Wasp is fun. Save this for home video and invite your friends over. Skyscraper is a party movie.
Let’s not mince words.
Skyscraper is perhaps the dumbest, most ludicrous action movie to come along in years. The entire premise makes zero sense. The motivations and conflicts are laughable, and even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson teeters on breaking the Fourth Wall more than once, as if to say – “Guys, I know…Let’s just get through this together?”
Honestly? I enjoyed this way more than I should.
Skyscraper is the big idea your friend wants you to support, even though they got bad grades in school and seldom follow through on anything.
Skyscraper is the middle-school action movie you wrote in your bedroom, or thought about making a few years ago with your buddies on smartphones, or even Mom and Dad’s camera and then planned on uploading to YouTube; just with $125 million more dollars to work with than you had at your disposal.
Skyscraper is like building furniture from Ikea, with the confidence you can figure it out just from the instructions.
Skyscraper is believing you can fly, getting a patent for wings, and then it exists in that moment when you are running towards a cliff in the hopes of taking off like a majestic human bird-like thing.
Yeah. Skyscraper is like all of those things and more. From a plot standpoint, let me crack my knuckles and summarize this the best way I can.
In Hong Kong, a billionaire investor, Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han) has built “The Pearl,” the safest and tallest skyscraper in the world. He introduces the building to security professional Will Sawyer (Johnson) by telling him, at one point, “Welcome to Heaven, Mr. Sawyer.”
Sawyer, his wife Sarah (Neve Campbell), and twin children Henry (Noah Cottrell) and Georgia (McKenna Roberts), are the lone residential occupants of The Pearl, chilling in a state-of-the-art penthouse on the 96th floor. Essentially, Zhao has created a sustainable living environment that stands 220 stories tall and is impenetrable, with the finest security and technological advancements known to mankind.
We learn that Will is a former FBI agent and hostage rescuer, who lost his left leg in a domestic attack and turned to private security. His former FBI partner, Ben (Pablo Schreiber), who works for Zhao, landed him the contract, which Zhao inexplicably grants to Will, despite being the only employee we see on screen, and never having worked on a project one-tenth the size of this one.
Conveniently, terrorists see Zhao’s claim and raise him one, disguising themselves as contractors to infiltrate the lower levels of The Pearl and cause a ruckus. And before you can even utter the words “But you said the system was impenetrable!?!?!”, a fire breaks out, the fire containment systems are hacked, air locks are opened, and we have a gosh-darn towering inferno on our hands!
The smiles and yell-laughs starting coming in abundance here, and it took some convincing to believe that this was not actually intended to be a comedy. Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who has films like DodgeBall, We’re The Millers, and Central Intelligence on his resume, Skyscraper tries to take itself so, so seriously for a bit, until it just gives up and embraces its lunacy. And kudos to Johnson and Campbell, who give this their all, but can never elevate this past straight-to-video-style action commonplace in the mid-1990s.
You can instantly spot at least two, maybe three characters, who will pull off a WWE-style heel turn in this thing. We have the idiotic police officers who, at different times, believe Will’s efforts to save his family from being trapped in The Pearl is a hoax (a hoax I tell you!), orchestrated by Will himself. My favorite cop is the one who mostly just stares blankly, states the obvious, and watches cable news.
Did I mention the stunts? Escalating in ridiculousness from one to the next, Skyscraper gives us the most durable prosthetic leg in movie history. This leg can support a 275-pound man hanging upside down 90-some floors up off the ground, it can be used as a wedge, it can be weaponized, and not a scratch, crack, or blemish on it anywhere. Johnson just goes all “plug-and-play” with it, and it serves almost as a character in and of itself.
I am not sure I am dumber after watching Skyscraper, I could not find a test available to get a current IQ score, but in a world of continual chaos and disorder, I did stop thinking about all the ills of the world for awhile.
Star ratings be damned: Skyscraper might be the greatest movie of all time.
CAST & CREW
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Chin Han, Noah Taylor, McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell, Kevin Rankin, Roland Møller, Byron Mann, Hannah Quinliven.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Written by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Release Date: July 13, 2018