Dwayne JohnsonNeve Campbell...
Action & AdventureCrime...
Rawson Marshall Thurber
In 1 Cinema
The beauty of some films lies in how realistic they can be, and the beauty of others lies in how they are able to create a completely fictious world. Skyscraper struggles to convince the audience that the absurd lack of physics, logic, and reality in the world they created is in fact believable.
Skyscraper follows former SWAT agent, and current security expert Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), as he travels to Hong Kong with his wife (Neve Campbell) and twins to interview for a security job at the newly built, world’s tallest skyscraper. When an armed gang takes over the tower and Sawyer’s family are held inside, Sawyer has to do the impossible to rescue his family.
Seems a bit Die Hard-ish doesn’t it? Well it tries to be, but it’s completely ridiculous.
The film’s stunts and action sequence are completely insane; they do not make any sense and are not remotely believable. Yes, action films should have dangerous, insane stunts, but the trick is to make the audience think that there is at least a one percent chance that this could actually happen. Skyscraper was not able to do that, instead it was cartoonish.
Since this is a film, not a cartoon, the audience can catch certain things that don’t make sense, like jumping between the blades of a high speed moving turbine without being shredded to pieces.
Once you get past the fact that these scenes do not make any sense, and stop trying to make sense of any of the madness, the stunts seem pretty awesome. Just like watching a cartoon, you know this is not real and never will be, but it is still so cool to watch.
The gaps did not end there; there was also major character reactions that did not make sense. For example, when the “bad guys” take Sawyer’s daughter and threaten to throw her off a roof, Sawyer takes his time to get up, to think of a plan, to execute it, check on his wife and son, and then head over to the bad guys who miraculously still did not harm his daughter, and have just stood there as if they were waiting for him.
Skyscraper also exhibited an issue that really should be beyond the film industry but is still a pitfall of several films: portraying almost every Asian person as a ninja. Seriously, we should be past this shouldn’t we?
As for the acting Dwayne Johnson has been good at playing tough guy, mainly due to his physique, and this film is no exception. This time, however, Johnson is playing a tough guy who faces enormous challenges with his family in danger, and that is where Johnson sinks. Indeed, showing fear, worry, and pain was needed to make the film somewhat more real and to ground the character. Neve Campbell, playing the wife, had a very small role, but she fulfilled the requirements it needed. The head of the bad guys was played by Danish actor Roland Møller, but his performance lacked character, charisma and even memorability, leaving him in pile of many mediocre cliché bad guys.
Skyscraper is enjoyable; you won’t get bored, you will hold your breath and you will be in awe. Is it the masterpiece that is Die Hard? No. If you love action films and don’t really care whether any of it is plausible, then Skyscraper is definitely for you.