Sunday, July 15, 2018

Movie Review: "Skyscraper" (2018)

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Year: 2018
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Former FBI agent Will Sawyer is hired to assess the security of the world's brand new tallest skyscraper known as The Pearl. When mercenaries seize control of the building and set it on fire, Will's family gets trapped inside. Now, he must face off against armed criminals and navigate a burning skyscraper to save them.

"If you can't fix it with duct tape, then you ain't usin' enough duct tape." (Image Source)
If you combine the towering inferno from "The Towering Inferno" with the hijacking of a building a la "Die Hard" and add Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, you get writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber's latest film "Skyscraper." Thurber is known for directing movies like "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" and "We're The Millers." The story revolves around a man named Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), a former FBI agent who now works as a security specialist after having the lower part of his leg blown off in the line of duty. His latest job is to assess the safety and security of The Pearl, the world's tallest skyscraper which stands three times the height of The Empire State Building. As Will works on his assessment, his family gets to be the first to live in the residential part of the building, which is not yet open to the public. When mercenaries who want something from the building's owner (Chin Han) seize the building and all its controls, they set the bottom floor of the residential portion on fire, trapping Will's family inside. Will must now find a way to get back into the building, face off against these mercenaries, and get his family out before the entire upper half of the structure burns to the ground.
"Light a man's house on fire and you'll find out what he truly loves." (Image Source)
When we watch a movie like "Skyscraper," we pretty much know what to expect. What we expected this movie would be is exactly what we got: a giant building that is up in flames with The Rock racing against a ticking timeclock trying to save his family while fire rages and explosions bang around them, all while he hangs off ledges and other unstable structures showing off his beefy arms being a hero. What's not to love?! Dwayne Johnson gets to be the badass he always is, but he is a bit more human in this film compared to some of the other projects he has done where he has played a hulking man with seemingly super-human capabilities. As Will Sawyer, Johnson isn't throwing people ten feet in the air or kicking them through walls this time around. He takes his licks and at least pretends to look like he gets badly beaten up by the end. That being said, Johnson still carries out a few big stunts that are wholly unbelievable yet oh so amazing. C'mon, what did you expect from a film that promised someone jumping from a highly-suspended crane to a structure being succumbed by a bombardment of flames? The action scenes are exciting, and they damn well better be with a $125 million budget. We can feel the tension whenever someone gets near a ledge that is 100+ stories in the air despite knowing what will happen because it was almost always in the trailer. Dwayne Johnson isn't the only one who gets to kick major ass in this action crime drama. We love that his wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) isn't a total damsel in distress waiting to be rescued. She holds her own and tries to save herself and her kids, handling herself very well in a fight being that she is a former member of the military.
"It's Fort Knox a mile in the sky." (Image Source)
"Skyscraper" isn't a smart film. Everyone chases around a MacGuffin for the entire runtime, and it can get pretty ridiculous at times, but director Rawson Marshall Thurber knows what type of movie he is making, and the cast knows exactly what type of movie they are in. Everyone involved with this project sets a great tone right from the beginning and manages to make the whole experience a heck of a lot of fun. If you are looking for a two-hour fire-infested thrill ride with relatively high steaks, a kick-ass cast, and a turn-your-brain-off-good-time, "Skyscraper" is the movie for you.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~51%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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