Ten years after having one leg amputated from the knee down during a botched up hostage rescue mission, US war veteran Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) now works as a security consultant and is currently assessing the security of business magnate Zhao Jong Li’s (Chin Han) skyscraper which is currently the world’s tallest building. One fine day, some intruders arrive in the building and set the 96th floor on fire. Though the building is vacant after the 90th floor, it does have a few people living above it including Sawyer’s family.
Can Sawyer save his family? Who were the intruders and why did they start the fire? What’s the conspiracy behind all of the events and why is Sawyer at the centre of it all?
Positive Points: –
- Skyscraper is engrossing almost throughout its run which is what an action-thriller should be.
- Dwayne Johnson’s charismatic performance.
- The cinematography and the visual effects of the movie have a terrific synergy.
Negative Points: –
- Skyscraper is nothing but Die Hard starring Dwayne Johnson. Not just the central character and his vulnerabilities but even the entire screenplay seem to be heavily inspired by Die Hard.
- Apart from Johnson, no other actor makes a mark in his or her act though Neve Campbell does come close at one point.
- Despite all its daring action sequences, the movie fails to induce a sense of awe in the viewer probably because we knew that the hero never dies. *Shrugs*
Direction, Screenplay & Other Technicalities: –
Let’s just even forget about Die Hard and analyse the different entities of Skyscraper, we see uncanny similarities with most Hollywood action flicks in terms of its storyline as well as characterisation. For example, just consider the character Xia in the film. How many times we have seen a ruthless female sidekick to our villains? Now, this is just one example. As one goes on picking up plot-points in it, the number of Hollywood references might tend to be infinite and we aren’t surprised at all! However, it’s the lack of substance in Skyscraper that’s nettling and not the repetitive references imbued in it. As the director, Rawson Marshall Thurber is fine but his screenwriting garners helluva complaints and the reasons have been all aforementioned. Nonetheless, Thurber at least ensures your attention throughout the film’s runtime which is a good trait for any thriller. Though it’s action sequences are good, they are ridiculous at times and just fail to make you gasp even with the most breathtaking stunts and all the credit for the same goes to its predictable premise.
On the brighter side lies Robert Elswit’s impressive cinematography which goes hand in hand with the movie’s stunning visuals. Adding to the flavour are its tight editing and fitting background score which altogether ameliorate the film’s cinematic experience.
This flick belongs to Dwayne Johnson and probably was intended to be so. His very presence is appealing to the audience and eulogizing his abilities to excel in action sequences will be superfluous. However, performing Will Sawyer was simply a five-finger exercise for him (or in fact any actor) and I guess it’s high time that he looked for better roles with more depth and meat in them.
Neve Campbell is good as Sarah Sawyer and is even better when she’s kicking asses in the film.
The rest of the actors are just fine. I don’t understand how an actor as splendid as Noah Taylor landed up with a half-baked role like that. Chin Han was probably the worst actor in the lot as throughout the movie he had just one demeanour and body language.
Final Verdict: –
With blatant references to many Hollywood action-flicks, Skyscraper can be viewed as their pastiche which is entertaining notwithstanding its lack of cohesive narrative. It can be a one-time watch for a generic audience but don’t expect too much from it. It’s your money and your time and hence it’s your call!