12th Jul2018

‘Skyscraper’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Noah Taylor, McKenna Roberts, Kevin Rankin, Roland Moller, Byron Mann, Matt O’Leary, Hannah Quinlivan, Beatrice King, Tzi Ma, Chin Han, Paul McGillion, Kathy Wu | Written and Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber

Skyscraper-poster

Dwayne Johnson reteams once again with director Rawson Marshall Thurber for Skyscraper, after the critically mixed and modest box office reception Central Intelligence two years previously.

Global disaster flick Skyscraper sees Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson star as former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Ford, who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in China he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who is trapped inside the building… above the fire line.

Skyscraper is, a heart, a self-confessed tribute to action spectacular hits of the late eighties and nineties, most notably that of John McTiernan’s quintessential action romp Die Hard, even mimicking said film in the promotional material running up to its release. Yet the film never manages to fully fledge itself into its own without a constant need of self-referential absurdity, and what seems to be a fully aware and unfortunately an extravaganza of structural turmoil with little to nothing else exemplary about the events that unfold in predictable and cornered moments of oppressed charisma.

The Die Hard comparison towards Skyscraper is incredibly striking and undoubtedly curious…

The best description, and differences between the two, would be that the latter is a remix of sorts. It takes the same beats, almost verbatim may I add, and ruffles them with different attributes yet with the same consequences and tension, however the eventual and inevitable outcome both feels strikingly similar, which wouldn’t necessarily be an issue if Rawson Marshall Thurber’s film had an ounce of wonder or crippling tension within its bones. The CGI is incredibly overwhelming and as its arguably the films biggest asset, its used to such an excessive point of coma induced proportion.

There are positives sprinkled around the otherwise disappointing venture, most notably the terrific casting of the Chinese actors and actresses as well as the diversity showcased with interracial families, although both attributes are inevitably and unfortunately forgotten about in the grand scheme of ridiculous CGI flair.

Skyscraper is in UK cinemas from today, July 12th.

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