Skyscraper, a combination of “Die Hard” and “Towering Inferno.”, is the latest action film featuring Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and it includes all the breathtaking, heart-pounding action of a typical “Rock” movie while also loaded up with a healthy dose of movie clichés.
In Skyscraper, the biggest (fictional) free-standing building in the world catches fire at its structural midpoint, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson‘s family is stuck inside.
Mr. Johnson’s character, Will, a security analyst, visiting Hong Kong on business with his surgeon wife, Sarah (Neve Campbell), and their twins. Sawyer and his family are the first civilian residents of the biggest skyscraper on the planet and it is hailed as the “safest” place to live. It is a shining, self-contained city, stretching 200-plus stories into the clouds, it’s the brainchild of billionaire Zhao Long Ji . Soon after Sawyer interviews for a high-end security job in the world’s tallest building — an ugly metallic behemoth known as The Pearl, violence happens. .
You can probably deduce what happens next: one-and-a-half hours of Johnson, as a security expert and father-of-two Will Sawyer, kicking ass, taking names, and absolutely owning the sky-high tower and the villains in every way imaginable.
A team of villains, led by the menacing Kores Botha (Roland Moller), has broken in with highly flammable chemicals in order to steal a computer thumb drive containing all the crime syndicates around the world. Botha has threatened to extort millions of dollars from Zhao Long ji who is using the thumbnail to expose Botha.
Sure enough, the vigilante group seeks to destroy the building and take the valued prize from the owner, and Sawyer is framed for it. The bad guys set the building ablaze, trapping Sawyer’s family, and he’s the only one who can save them. Will is wounded in a brutal fight and must perform self-surgery and uses plenty of duct tape.
Will dodges bullets and more bullets, scales a soaring construction crane and leaps across an impossible void, a superhero without cape or portfolio. Again and again, he also dangles by a single, sweat-slicked hand as all of Hong Kong anxiously watches his escapades below or on TV, oohing and ahhing in presumptive harmony with the movie’s audience.
There is a clever scene featuring an art display that comes up from the floor revealing many life size mirrors so you don’t know who is real and who is the reflection. This is very similar to the mirror scenes in the Bruce Lee movie “Enter the Dragon” and the Terrence Hill movie “My Name is Nobody.”
Skyscraper” also provides a surprisingly solid role for Campbell; Sarah is never a damsel in distress, but rather a combat-trained surgeon capable of kicking her own allotment of butt while also caring for her kids. (She also speaks several Asian languages, which comes in handy throughout the film.)
This is a fun action movie with so many implausible scenes so you should just check your brains at the door and enjoy the ride.
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