Skyscraper, it’s a thrill a minute. It’s also terribly unoriginal.
Actor and retired professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, fresh off the recent success of Jumani: Welcome to The Jungle and Rampage, leads the cast with his portrayal of retired G-Man and veteran Will Sawyer. Critically injured while performing his job as an FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader, Sawyer comes out of it with a partially amputated leg and a medical discharge.
Traumatized by the incident, Sawyer refuses to handle guns of any kind. He instead opts for a safer line of work, assessing buildings for security. Sawyer is brought in by an old friend to perform an analysis of a Hong Kong skyscraper known as “The Pearl,” the world’s tallest building measuring in at 3,500 feet and 225 stories tall.
The process is soon upended by a terrorist takeover of the building. Further complications ensue when Sawyer’s wife and two children are placed in the fiery crosshairs, driving him to overcome his fear of weaponry and defeat the criminals.
Other film reviewers are criticizing Skyscraper for being too similar to action film classics Die Hard and The Towering Inferno. I wholeheartedly agree. It appears the filmmakers wanted to do a modernized takeoff on the two gems, but they failed terribly. To admire an old film that truly set the standard and build upon some of the ideas from said film is one thing. In the case of Skyscraper, there is little building and more of the same old action tropes, dressed up with technology but still patently obvious. Some aspects of the film are so similar to the aforementioned classics it’s incredible.
Don’t get me wrong, I was on the edge of my seat for every minute. However, there was nothing inspiring or groundbreaking. A few years from now, Skyscraper will end up in the deleted messages folder of history and for good reason. This could have been a real opportunity to learn from the past and build upon it with something new and exciting, but it was totally squandered in this case. If you want to be underwhelmed and yet thoroughly entertained by Dwayne Johnson’s Bruce Willis impression, by all means, go. I wouldn’t recommend it, though.