The Pearl is the largest, most advanced building in the world, and Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) is the security consultant hired to assess the building's safety and security systems. When an attack on the building causes a fire, Will must fight his way in to save his family. But what do the attackers want? And how far will they go to get it?
Described as an homage to Die Hard and The Towering Inferno, Skyscraper doesn't really live up to either. Dwayne Johnson is known for ridiculous movies that are a lot of fun, he is the 80's movie guy of the 21st Century after all. Skyscraper is definitely ridiculous, it's just not that much fun. Take Die Hard for example, John McClane finds himself in a very serious situation; he's the wrong guy, in the wrong place, at the wrong time! But it's still hilarious watching him run around a building doing his level best to piss off the terrorists. There's none of that here, and the one or two moments of humour almost go unnoticed.
Skyscraper does benefit from a few decent performances. Dwayne Johnson is on his usual good form. Once again he's playing the stand-up, all round good guy. His performance is also very respectful of amputees, despite a couple of questionable moments, almost everything he does seems to take the artificial leg into account. He and Neve Campbell have very good chemistry, and along with McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell make a convincing family. Campbell does well here, she actually has a lot to do. Rather than making her just another damsel in distress, her character is very capable. The rest of the cast - including the generic villain with the stupid plan - are unfortunately all too forgettable, there's nothing engaging about any of them. A twist involving one character could have proven interesting but it was spoiled in the trailer and was more than a little clichéd.
The action is quite good in places, although some shots look like they were borrowed directly from the movies that inspired it. Although there are a few hair-raising (almost vomit inducing) moments which in reality would require a change of underwear. And it's all thanks to the CGI, the one thing about Skyscraper that is spectacular! From Johnson dangling 200 stories above Hong Kong to his leap off of a super crane to the building itself, everything looks fantastic. But good visuals alone, aren't enough to make Skyscraper as exciting as it should be.
In trying to homage Die Hard and The Towering Inferno, the writers have essentially combined the two storylines. It's almost as if they tried to remake both movies, then combined the two. The result of which isn't all that interesting. With Johnson's previous movie Rampage, those behind it knew it was ridiculous and embraced that. Here they've tried to be too serious and ended up draining all of the fun out of it. Skyscraper isn't terrible, but given the choice, you're better off watching Die Hard or The Towering Inferno.
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