Did you ever want to see an action movie where it’s relentlessly stupid all the way through and doesn’t have that much originality in its body? Then, Skyscraper is the perfect film for you. This film is a peculiar oddity since it’s clearly unoriginal and dumb as hell, so that gives you the perfect reason to be critical of it, and while it is problematic, you can’t help but be at least mildly entertained at the sheer nonsense of it all.
Whether or not this was the writer/director’s intention is up for discussion, but credit is due for both the cast and crew for throwing caution to the wind and just going for it. This is in the same vein of The Expendables where it knows exactly what it’s doing, but isn’t entirely self-aware or nudge-winking at the audience like Rampage did. The actors involved take this super-seriously even if the story and environments they are put in are extremely ridiculous and dumb. Dwayne Johnson is likeable and charming as always, even if this is not the best role he’s done, but yet he still sells it. It’s great to see Neve Campbell back after years of absence, and she’s still awesome as ever, making the most out of a stale role.
This film has a solid budget attached to it, and the action sequences are efficiently well-handled for the most part, and there is some nice cinematography courtesy from Robert Elswit. The CGI is questionable; despite the intensity of falling from great heights, dangling off tall buildings, and somehow managing to stick onto the sides of the building using only duct-tape Mission: Impossible-style, you can tell the movie has a very green-screen sheen to it that can be sometimes quite distracting. Plus, for someone who is meant to be an amputee, Dwayne wasn’t 100 percent convincing in certain scenes.
This film is utter balderdash, hugely derivative, and completely clichéd, but it knows the films it’s stealing from and it knows that it’s essentially a big-dumb animal of a film, so the result is an odd one. It’s not good in any stretch of the imagination, but it would be a lie to say that there wasn’t some enjoyment to be found, laughing occasionally with the film and sometimes (or mostly) at the film. Dwayne Johnson is still a likeable star and it’s wonderful to see Neve Campbell return to our screens again after so long, and if you’re looking for a turn-your-brain-off blockbuster with solid production values and a talented group of actors, Skyscraper could scratch that particular itch for you.
Dir: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Scr: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, Hannah Quinlivan
Prd: Beau Flynn, Dwayne Johnson, Rawson Marshall Thurber, Hiram Garcia
DOP: Robert Elswitt
Music: Steve Jablonsky
Run time: 102 mins
Skyscraper is out now on DVD and blu-ray