Small Screen Reviews
What’s It About?
A security consultant and his family are trapped in the world’s tallest building when armed terrorists set fire to it in a bid to blackmail the owner.
Who’s In It?
Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 5-8, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle & more recently Rampage)
Neve Campbell (Scream 1-4, Wild Things, & more recently House Of Cards)
Other notables include:
Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is The New Black, Den Of Thieves, & more recently First Man)
Noah Taylor (Game Of Thrones, Peaky Blinders, & more recently Paddington 2)
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball, We’re The Millers, & more recently Central Intelligence)
Few can deliver an action film like Dwayne Johnson in recent years, and he has certainly been on something of a roll with the Fast & Furious films, Rampage, and even action comedies Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle and Central Intelligence, carrying those films with yes his physique, but also great timing and huge charisma.
However, it seems that he may have met his match in Skyscraper, which despite boasting impressive visuals and action sequences, does short change its leads in terms of characterisation, while its plot has more holes than a Swiss cheese.
Skyscraper is very much a return to the San Andreas days, with breathless action and little else. Johnson plays Will Sawyer, an invalided former FBI agent turned security consultant, hired by leading Hong Kong businessman Zhao Long Ji to take a look over the world’s tallest building.
Despite winning the contract, he soon gets caught up in a terrorist plot, as a group of essentially 90’s European henchmen, desperate to blackmail Zhao Long Ji, orchestrate a fire in the building on the 96thfloor, trapping Sawyer’s family as well as Zhao Long Ji on the floors above, while also managing to frame Sawyer for the atrocity. Needless to say, they don’t count on Sawyer’s determination to save his family, and ultimately save the day.
Skyscaper certainly does boast some impressive visuals and stunt sequences, but in truth it borrows liberally from classic actioners from yesteryear with Cliffhanger, Die Hard and The Towering Inferno all leaping to mind. The only problem being, it doesn’t improve on any of them, and when you throw in the very limited characterisation for all the characters, comedy director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s oh so serious Skyscraper is less a towering achievement, and more of a three up two down.
In A Nutshell:
Plenty of action sequences and high drama can’t paper over the thin plot and weak characterisation.
The script and characterisation
Release date: 19/11/2018
Certificate: 12 / 12A