User ReviewsReview this title
If it sounds ridiculous, that's because it is. The story is largely ridiculous, and although The Rock never actually fights the building (because it's a building), the danger that the building poses is a much greater threat than any posed by the actual villains of this film.
The villains are lame, cardboard cutout characters. They're evil because they're evil-no explanation given, no effort. So, I consider the skyscraper the main adversary in this film since its sheer height and the raging fire it contains threatens The Rock's family. I won't mention The Rock's character's name because I never once thought of him as anyone other than The Rock. The only thing here distinguishing him from the characters he plays in other movies, is his love for duct tape. This is a very pro-duct tape movie.
In this movie, The Rock is awesome because The Rock is always awesome. Speaking of awesome, I have to give it up for Neve Campbell. I should have known from the many times I watched the 'Scream' movies, but Neve Campbell is one tough cookie. She takes down her share of bad guys along the way, fearlessly and intelligently defending her kids. Well done.
Rooting for The Rock (and any of his friends or family) is one of my favorite things to do at the movies. It's amazing that The Rock has been so built up in the minds of viewers as an indestructible force that writers now have to manufacture weaknesses for him in movies, such as an artificial leg. It's as if the audience would believe all the challenges of this movie would be too easy for him if he had both his natural legs.
While there are a million and one plot holes, that's definitely not something you're supposed to look for in this movie. Certain movies are not meant to be dissected, and one involving a man jumping from one tall structure across the sky into a much taller structure that's on fire, is certainly one of them.
In addition to the film's inherent silliness, it also attempted several awkward jokes within the first few minutes, all of which whiffed. Characters followed up with "I'm kidding." That's usually a reliable indicator that the joke bombed terribly.
Despite all the flaws, I still had a good time watching this. The Rock is charismatic enough to carry any action movie to a reasonable level of watchability. Thanks to him, this one is reasonably watchable.
Like it or not, Dwayne Johnson is the biggest action star (and I'm not just talking about is 275lb frame) out there right now. When you go to watch one of his movies, you can expect over the top action and not a whole lot of feelings. I'm still kind of surprised that in "San Andreas" he didn't just close the fault back up with his biceps or stop the earthquake with his pecs. This being the era of The Rock, we see Johnson in at least 2 or 3 movies a year...Skyscraper being the 3rd I've seen in 2018. While I wait with teeth grinding anticipation for the "Big Trouble in Little China" reboot, let's get the Lowedown on Skyscraper with an aspect breakdown.
Cast=7 Dwayne Johnson is worth three points for his biceps alone...I know I went to the theater just cause I knew he's in it. Neve Campbell returns to the silver screen as the wife and earns two points...then Chin Han and Byron Mann earn one point each. This was enough to earn seven points out of the gate. Acting=7 The acting was actually pretty good across the board...I would probably award five points if Neve Campbell wasn't in this movie. Campbell still has the chops and really stole the show from an acting standpoint. I will have to add a couple points just for her...so that would make seven points here too. Plot=8 A security expert must infiltrate a burning skyscraper, 225 stories above ground, when his family are trapped inside by criminals. Ok...it's really "Die Hard" only with a bigger building and a bigger hero. Did that make it better? Not by a long shot...but it was a simple concept that allows for little need for character development. Eight points for plot...yay! Ending=8 The biggest thing I want in an ending is closure. But from an action movie, I want the most epic action at the end than the rest of the film. I definitely got the action and the closure...the foreshadowing made the ending predictable, so I can't give full points. Let's say eight points for the ending... Story=5 I was not a fan of the story...they left a lot of hole just to try to explain what Johnson did and why the bad guys were in the building. There was a bit too much character development for Johnson, but not enough for Campbell and her role was just as important. Throwing a five at the building for the story. Favorite Quote: "If you can't fix it with duct tape... you ain't using enough duct tape."
Genre: Action Violent=9 It's an action movie and that means I WANT VIOLENCE!!! I can't award full points for this, as it's PG-13. It's like putting a noise suppressor on a Harley...it kind of defeats the purpose. But I guess the purpose was to make as much money as possible in the Theater. As such, nine points will go to this movie for the epic sky crane jump. Pace=7 An Action movie, unlike Drama, needs to have a great pace. The acting and the story can't keep you, so it has to be the explosions and car chases. The pace was good...a little lag in the beginning with the character development, but once the fit hits the shan (see how I switched that?) the pace is really good. Seven points for Slitherin. F/X=10 For an Action movie...I want great CGI sure, but I want some real stunt work. I realize you have to do some things with a computer and a green screen...I also want some work with a stunt crew and the actors doing some of their own stuff. This was the one great thing about the film! The fire F/X was great and the stunts in and out of the building were nice. Ten points will be added to the score...
Sub-Genre: Heist Heist=5 Sorry if this is a spoiler, but of course you have to know the bad guys are after something right? If they are trying to take something as the main plot, then this is a heist movie. I just wasn't feeling what they were trying to do. I can't say it was good or bad, so I'll go with meh here...Five points. Chemistry=6 In a heist movie, I want chemistry with the robbers. A definite leader and a team of specialists to perform a certain task is what I want to see. While there is a leader, the rest of the team is not fully realized. Despite them being armed. At no point did I feel like they could beat The Rock...six points. My Score: 7.2 "Skyscraper" does not hold it's weight as a heist movie, but it's pretty solid as a straight up action flick. It manages to one-up Die Hard in height alone...it's taller but it will never be bigger. It's the same thing I told my kids when they became taller than me in junior high school. If you didn't get to see this in the theater...just hang in there for the video release.
The biggest gripe I have is just how dull it is. The film actually starts off with a pretty menacing villain and some violent and brutal killings. At this stage I had hope for the film, but all of that ended pretty abruptly and from that point onwards every bad guy in the film was unbelievably incompetent. The whole story arc plays out in about as cliche of a fashion as you could ever imagine. It's all very underwhelming and disappointing.
As for positives they are hard to come by. Some of the visuals are impressive and 'The Rock' does his best to keep things watchable despite being given absolutely no help. Otherwise though I would say this is a complete misfire and not worth anyone's time or money.
And I'm not even surprised that it was produced by Dwayne Johnson and has him playing the leading role. There's something old school about the good ol' Rock and I always felt like he's keeping the old school spirit alive on the big screen. And now he did just that - his own version of Die Hard. With baddies, family in trouble and muscular guy to save the day. I can't even add anything to it. It's just that - an old school action movie. Lack of originality? Sure, can't argue with that. There's nothing original here. Well, the skyscraper itself looks great, the movie feels really exciting in modern 3D and sure, Dwayne Johnson's character has only one leg, which works as a nice modern touch and will make this movie even better for certain kind of viewers, since it can really give them a lot of inspiration, but aside from that there's nothing really new here. You saw Die Hard, you can say that you've seen this movie too. But let's not forget two things. First of all, we live in times when they just don't make this kind of movies anymore. And second - such movies don't even need to be original. They need to be exciting and inspiring. And Skyscraper have all of it. It's very enjoyable and can give you and your family a lot of good mood. Which means that it did its work perfectly. Maybe it's not one of those "must see" movies, but if you missed this kind of movies as much as I did, I'd say don't miss it. That awesome warm feeling that old action movies had... this one sure has it.
I have to admit the storyline is not bad, but the action cant be accepted by our brain.
Getting past whether the writer/director was aiming for this kind of film or if they stumbled into it, I have to credit the cast for making lemonade out of lemons. Dwayne Johnson is a bona fide movie star and he gives a decent performance. He tries as hard as he can, and he works in this more often than he doesn't. I thought Neve Campbell was pretty good, she had believable chemistry with Dwayne and she breathes life into what could be a stale character. Chin Han was solid, it was nice to see him in a bigger part and he does his job. Skyscraper doesn't do Noah Taylor or Roland Moller any favours in their respective roles as Mr. Pierce and Kores. I think Roland comes off a little better, but Noah is doomed by his higher profile and you can see where he's heading from moment one. I also felt bad for Pablo Schreiber as Ben, he's a great actor but he hasn't had the best of luck picking projects now that he's transitioning to movies.
Skyscraper has a sizeable budget and the quality of the visual effects benefits for the most part. There was never a point that I was put off by a bad piece of CGI or disappointed from a visual standpoint. The movie has a few nice cinematography moments (they make the most out of the hall of mirrors room cliché) and the fights were okay. Dwayne wasn't 100 percent consistent in acting like an amputee (he's really limping in some scenes, in others not so much) but the action is passable.
I do have plenty of complaints when it comes to Skyscraper, but I can't get deep into them without spoiling big moments in the film. Most of them centre around character motivations (is this really the easiest thing the terrorists could think of to get what they need?), character decisions (I admire Will's commitment to his family but considering what happens, why would he believe his family is still alive at the midpoint?) and really cheesy choices that undermine the thriller aspects of Skyscraper. They would have derailed the movie for me if I hadn't been having such a good time laughing and wondering where they would go next.
I didn't give this movie a high rating, but I was genuinely surprised with how much fun I had with Skyscraper. Did I feel bad for giggling at the implausibility of the plot? A little... the theatre was 1/2 full but the friend I saw this with had the same reaction. Expectations are key when deciding to watch this movie. If you've seen some movies like Skyscraper, the plot twists are going to be obvious, the sentimentality is going to make your eyes roll (even if the actors and actresses are selling out to make it work), and there are going to be some head shaking moments that will try your patience. But I give the cast, the visual effects department and the screenwriter a pat on the back for doing their best and taking what could be a trainwreck into an enjoyable 1hr and 45minutes at the theatre. If you're looking for a turn-your-brain-off style action/thriller with high production values and a talented group of actors, this movie could scratch that type of itch.
The script had great idea, and the filmmakers executed perfectly, but they should have toned it down a little bit. It would have been a great movie if the action standards should have treated realistically.
But end of the day, it was entertaining, just like in the 80's, 90's disaster action movies.
Minus Points- -After getting realistic action scenes, the director treats Rock as a Superhero character with superhuman DC/Marvel strength (yes he's an action star, but this is not the 80's Stallone Arnold era). -Unrealistic plot holes.
Plus points- The Rock himself, I think this is his first time he portraying a handicapped character.
Johnson needs to bring in a fictious building, the "Pearl" just completed in Hong Kong, "three times the height of Empire State Building". But this is not a natural disaster movie as Johnson's "San Andreas" three years ago. This time, there are villains and gun fights, lots of them. Watching gunfights in Hong Kong, one can't help thinking of John Woo. But no pigeons this time. The building is simply too high for them!
Talking about villains, this movie has uncharacteristically few. The audiences are spared of the usual convoluted betrayal-on-betrayal twists. Except for one such twist, all good guys are good and bad guys are bad, and rightly so. Let the action carry the movie.
For plot line, suffices to know that Will Sawyer, amply qualified owner of a small security company, gets a contract to certify the said Pearl building for occupation of the top half (the bottom half is already fully in operation). Fast forward: when the conspiracy arson fire breaks out at the mid-point of the building, the occupied lower half is efficiently evacuated. The plush office at the very top floor, where the owner and his staff are, is supposed to be completely safe and with a helicopter standing by just in case. As the plot requires, the supposedly otherwise vacant top half happens to have three guests when the fire break out: Sawyer's wife and twin young children. Sawyer is out. That is all the moviemakers need to hang the action on.
The action is meant to be watched, not talked about. One worth mentioning is that our hero has a prosthetic leg which, as the story unfolds, turns out to wield more magic than Loki's staff. Also worth mentioning is Neve Campbell who plays Sawyer's wife Sarah. Anyone who has seen her in "House of cards" knows that she is unlikely to be cast as a damsel-in-distress. One she certainly is not here, in "Skyscraper", even factoring in the mother's instinct to protect her offspring. Sarah, once an army doctor, is both a fighter and a thinker, in reverse order. In addition to Johnson's action, Campbell is a bright spot in this movie.
Skyscraper is what people call The Towering Inferno meets Die Hard starring The Rock. The film starts off with a quick scene where The Rock is in some special forces group with his buddy, and then they they get blown up. We see Rock in the hospital and he had lost his leg. However, he meets with his future wife, Ms Scream herself, Neve Campbell (good she's still working these days).
Flash forward and the two are married and have two kids together. The Rock sees them off ("Daddy loves who?") and then meets with his buddy. They meet with the head of that building, and then we learn that his buddy is betraying him over a tablet that takes control of the building. The Rock is too smart, so his buddy tries to kill him but remembers that the movie would be over if he kills The Rock.
Naturally, Rock wins but terrorists have taken over the building, set it on fire, and his family is trapped in it. However, Hong Kong police are chasing after him so The Rock races against the cops, time, and those terrorists to get his family back.
First its the scene from the trailers where he jumps to the building on a crane. This is high level action right here. I can see why they are proud of this because it was a very suspenseful, energetic action scene. The movie never lets up until the very end and because I was never bored and expecting Shakespeare, I walked away thinking the film is awesome.
Is this movie better than Die Hard and Towering Inferno. Oh heck no. Those movies are classics for a reason. However, this is an entertaining action film and that's what I expect out of the summer.
Title (Brazil): "Arranha-Céu: Coragem Sem Limite" ("Skyscraper: Courage without Limit")
I honestly couldn't believe how much this movie stole from Die Hard...right down to hiding the handgun with duct-tape. Is this the level the rock has sunk to? If it was any other actor in this role people would call him out on it.
Do yourself a favor and just rewatch the 80s and 90s action classics and skip this one.
Starring Dwayne Johnnson and Neve Campbell Skyscraper is the epitome of cliche cinema and I was sat in awe as each and every action cliche and trope were ticked off one by one.
I mean seriously, Skyscraper is devoid of originality to an extent that I could never have dreamed of. Every single scene we've seen a hundred times, every single standard expectation we have from crappy action films is here and you will predict each and every one of them in order.
I am stunned at just how cliched and unoriginal it all was, really I'm astounded that this script actually got picked up but totally unshocked that the movie failed to draw good business. People claim that there is little originality left in movies, that everything is a remake/reboot/sequel and even when they do make something "New" they just recycle what has come before it and this is a prime example.
It looks great, it has some great cast members, but the whole thing was constructed by someone who just wanted to construct a movie out of a hundred others.
As bad as they say? No. A slap in the face of the movie goer? Absolutely.
Neve Campbell, Chin Han and Noah Taylor
Impressive production values
Cliched beyond belief
Things I Learnt From This Movie:
That's now 2 movies called Skyscraper that were total unoriginal action ripoffs, but at least the 1996 one had boobs!
If you are a person that just wants to shut off their brain for a little bit, watch The Rock be an actual god, and just let your brain soak up some action, go ahead and see this movie.