It may be able to fix all wounds and help Dwayne Johnson stick to the side of crazy tall buildings, however, no amount of duct tape can save Skyscraper from being a pretty terrible film. In saying that, I still enjoyed it! I just really wanted to highlight how terrible every mention of duct tape in Skyscraper really is. It’s the worst. It’s meant to be funny, but it’s just weird. Okay, now that THAT’S out of my system, let’s get into the rest of the film.
While in line for popcorn, my friend and I were trying to come up with a bingo list of action movie tropes we were expecting to see. I kid you not, we nailed all but one (Lizzie actually came up with most of them, to be fair). I won’t tell you what they are, as I try my best to keep reviews MOSTLY spoiler free, but it gives you an idea of what to expect… and that’s what you see in every other action flick The Rock has ever been in. This time round, Dwayne Johnson takes on the role of Will Sawyer -a former FBI agent who has been hired as the head of security for the newly constructed skyscraper, ‘The Pearl’ (the tallest building in the world). He moves in to the residential floors, with his family, to assess the building’s risks and security protocols, but soon finds himself (and family) caught up in a mini war between the building’s creator, Zhao Long Ji, and another party. With his family trapped in a burning skyscraper and Will evading cops on the streets of Hong Kong while desperately trying to get to his family, you know Skyscraper is going to be a wild ride.
As you might expect, Dwayne Johnson is super muscly and super good at being a Dad/husband. He knows how to fix phones (another set up for a cringe-y late-flick one-liner), he knows how to take down bad guys, he knows how to use duct tape (guess it’s not quite out of my system), all he has yet to learn is how to tie his bloody tie. Don’t worry, though, he’s got his wife for that. Neve Campbell takes on the role of Will Sawyer’s techno-noob, tie-tying wife, Sarah, and she does it well! Neve and Dwayne don’t really have much chemistry, but she is a totally badass Mum and is the scene-stealer in all the scenes she gets. Hannah Quinlivan certainly ‘looked the villain’, but was suuuper over-acted and a wasted character. She had so much potential, and I think could have made for a more interesting secondary antagonist if given the chance and better scripting (and less dangley earrings – so impractical). The child actors and the rest of the cast were all pretty decent and what you’d expect to see in an action flick.
Skyscraper isn’t trying to be a cleverly-written, intellectually stimulating film – and that’s not what you’re here to find out about. There’s nothing gratuitous about the action or violence and I would almost call it a family-friendly action film (BUT NOT ACTUALLY – PLEASE DON’T TAKE YOUR TINY CHILDREN)! Dwayne Johnson leaping from structures and dangling from sickening heights is as stressful as you would hope for. My muscles hurt from tensing throughout most of the movie (yes, I am that weak) and I definitely made a few audible shocked sounds. The fighting scenes are mostly excellent and of course there’s an appropriate amount of awkward comedy sprinkled all over the place to remind you that nothing truly devastating is going to happen.
As terrible as Skyscraper is, it’s also exactly what you want from a dumb-action-movie. It’s not trying to be anything other than yet another movie where Dwayne Johnson saves his beautiful family from a crazy situation. It delivers. So if you and some friends want to go have a good laugh at Dwayne Johnson’s expense and also get your adrenaline pumping – please go see Skyscraper.