In this latest Dwayne Johnson vehicle, the muscular superstar plays Will Sawyer, a former Navy SEAL who must rescue his family from a skyscraper on fire, whilst going up against a wave of non-descript, gym-heavy terrorists.
While this movie is an original script, it has taken some heavy inspiration from classics of the past. This is Die Hard via The Towering Inferno, and the comparisons are unfavourable for Skyscraper. Lacking the humour, wit and characters of Die Hard, and missing the threat, intensity, and scale of The Towering Inferno, Skyscraper comes up short. Now, these titles are classics of the genre, but even when viewing Thurber’s latest film on its own two legs, it’s found wanting across the board.
The script is extremely dour from beginning to end, bar the occasional aside from Johnson. The absence of a sense of humour places a greater burden upon the action and its star. The action is CGI-heavy from the outside and poorly choreographed on the inside. The ending is an inauspicious tribute to The Man with the Golden Gun, only adding to the ridicule of the whole affair. A laugh is still a laugh – even if its source is not intended.
This means that everything is on Johnson’s broad shoulders. He does his best, but with little characterisation, depth, and humour, he struggles. Much like Rampage before this, Johnson’s stock is in a perilous place as there are fast becoming more misses than hits. Humour and action combined is clearly his strong suit (see: Jumanji), so why does he take projects that do not play to his strengths?
Where’s all the fun gone? In a summer full of sun and jollity, Skyscraper appears to have missed the memo. Dour, frustrating, and missing the magic that Johnson requires to shine.
CAST: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Noah Taylor
DIRECTOR: Rawson Marshall Thurber
WRITER: Rawson Marshall Thurber
SYNOPSIS: A father goes to great lengths to save his family from a burning skyscraper.