Quick Hit: This Die Hard knock-off isn’t worth the dad jokes and love obsession with Duct Tape.
I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea of this movie when I heard it was coming out, and I wasn’t thrilled when I sat down to watch it either. However, I will admit that Dwayne Johnson remains infinitely watchable in about every role that he is in (and there’s a lot of them). Unlike something like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle though, there just isn’t a lot around him to make the movie worthwhile.
After a cold open that finds Johnson experiencing a trauma that loses him his leg, we flash forward to when he is finalizing a deal with a firm as their security consultant. It’s a big gig for him, and he’s nervous, but his family has come with him to help keep him calm. Unfortunately, they end up staying in the tower and SURPRISE! There’s terrorists that have a vague subplot that involves incriminating information that is only in a rich guy’s vault (said rich guy owns the tower). This means that Dwayne has to leap (literally) into action in order to save his family.
There are few times where the movie strives for any type of originality. It feels as generic of an action film as is possible, with almost nothing to distinguish it from movies like The Towering Inferno and Die Hard that came before it. In fact, the plot feels so similar to Die Hard that at times I wonder if they just took away one of Johnson’s legs in order to differentiate the movies. I will say this – that movie is better in almost every way.
One of the ways that Skyscraper does succeed is with its vertical shots. There’s a LOT of them, and director Rawson Marshall Thurber makes the most of them. Some of the shots are absolutely dizzying, and induce fierce vertigo in others. It’s therefore a bit sad when he starts to rely on some standard fun house mirrors in order to have a finale. I would have much preferred the movie to continue to focus on Johnson’s wife, who is played by the terrific Neve Campbell. She doesn’t disappoint, going much further than her initial moments in the movie set her up for. Nothing against Johnson’s performance (which was his standard fare – with a bit more seriousness than we’ve had recently from him outside of maybe Rampage) but Campbell made this easier to stomach.
In total, I really don’t have a lot to say about this. It could definitely have been better and more original. I’m giving it a “D+”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"