The Rock is in theatres and that’s all you need to know.
Skyscraper is about a building on fire and Dwayne Johnson saving his family from inside it while the Hong Kong police is after him. If that isn’t a synopsis for a perfect film, nothing is.
Jokes aside, my friends and I were extremely excited for this film, and given that all we wanted was a mindless action film, we were very happy.
When I try and review a film like this, I always remember what the movie is trying to be. It is never fair to examine a film like this under the same lens that you would examine a film like Taxi Driver or Children of Men, because they are not trying to achieve the same purpose. Children of Men is trying to be something different to what Skyscraper is trying to be, and so saying Skyscraper is not believable or that it lacks arcs, character development or, well, logic, is unfair to the film. Of course, this is how I see films when I watch them and it doesn’t have to be how everyone sees them.
This is a film that is designed to be a fun action film, and that is what it is. You are entertained from start to finish, and The Rock has enough charisma to carry any film.
Skyscraper isn’t a film with a ground-breaking plot or complex characters or intriguing writing. There are instances in which you simply must abandon logic and just roll with it. There are times you can predict the next line with barely any thought. But that just adds to the charm.
Skyscraper is a great time and it doesn’t try to be anything more than that. The Rock is entertaining, the action is engaging and almost everything is dumb. But that’s why it’s cool. Not everything has to be Oscar-worthy.
The Michael Ashton column:
From the director of DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, comes the second chapter in Rawson Marshall Thurber’s trilogy of the underdog story. Except this time…. The Rock is dodging bullets while on a building, and just like The Rock’s career… the building is on fire. We can only hope the third one will take place in space, even though that’s where this movie was literally heading.
This is the type of movie that you are able to create a drinking game out of, whether it’s how many times you can guess the next line correctly, or how many computer screens change from offline to online and vice versa. But in there lies the fun of this movie. You shouldn’t go and see this movie by yourself. Take a pal, and just cheer everytime The Rock does something near-impossible, but believable enough because he has the muscles the size of treetrunks. It’s no coincidence that there are many Biblical and mythological references in this movie, ranging from Chin Han’s (the second Hollywood blockbuster he has been in where he is kidnapped from a Hong Kong building) character labelling the top of the Pearl as Heaven, as well as The Rock have a literal Achilles’ heel, not to mention his God-like presence.
Remember Neve Campbell? Don’t feel bad, I forgot she had a career as well. She’s back, and with the help of her stunt double, she’s able to achieve the impossible task; being the only likeable white person in this movie. I’m serious, not even her kids are white, thanks to Dwayne’s Johnson. Danish villain #65 does a great job of having an evil accent, and the editor does a fantastic job of wasting Noah Taylor. I have to applaud the director for allowing the Asian character’s to speak their own language, knowing that the audience was not limited to 5 year olds who are just learning to spell for the first time. However, I cannot applaud him for perpetuating the cliche of the black guy dying before everybody else.
If you were expecting Bruce Willis to climb out of a vent to say “Yippi ky-ay, mother-trucker” just before The Rock picks up the building to whack a Dinosaur, you will be sorely disappointed in the film’s lack of imagination. However, what you will find are high angle shots that will keep you away from rock climbing, a plot that is so paint by numbers you can almost see it drip (that line makes no sense, but I like the sound of it), and a charismatic lead you want to see survive because you hope that one day you’ll be in the same room as him, hoping that he does smells like cinnamon cookies.
On a scale where M is the lowest and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating: