When “Die Hard” gets reimagined with the 21stCentury, what do you get? “Rock Hard”… oh I mean “Skyscraper”. While its intention may not have been to modernize and completely exaggerate the 1988 classic, it’s hard not to make comparisons with a high-rise taken over by terrorists, an [admittedly former] officer of the law and said building under threat of collapse. It reeks a little of “Towering Inferno”, as well.
Comparisons aside, what “Skyscraper” does deliver in, is an intense and thrilling ride, which will tease your vertigo and give you sweaty palms to rival those of a virgin on a Tinder date. As least you know Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can pull off most, if not all, feats of strength, so you can sit back and enjoy the nauseating, head-spinning ride.
Johnson plays Will Sawyer, and ex-FBI agent and amputee as a result of an injury on duty. He now lives and works within the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong named “The Pearl”, which is situated in a sea of other skyscrapers that seem tiny in comparison. Sawyer and his family, including wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and two kids (McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell) reside about half way up the building as Will works as head of security, as they near cutting the ribbon on the residential half of The Pearl.
While the owner of the building insists it’s impenetrable, it’s Sawyer’s job to highlight the risks and when terrorists find its weakness, Sawyer’s main goal becomes to save his family – who are trapped within its walls. Running from the law, the terrorists and jumping from building to building seems to come naturally to Sawyer, though the risks he takes will give you a fear of heights – if you didn’t have one already.
If you’re after an hour and a half of thrills, kills and a decent popcorn action flick that you literally don’t have to think about too much – “Skyscraper” is for you. The script is serious cheese, and that’s cemented by the characters giving running commentary of their exact movements, which almost treats the audience like idiots. However the premise is fun, and movie is fun and action-packed, and Johnson is always going to be good value. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber has created an entertaining ride that’s solid enough to distract you from your real life for a little bit. It will probably also make you wish you had more money, to live in a building with all the bells and whistles that come it. Minus the threat of terrorists, obviously.
And if you come out wondering why “Die Hard” kicked goals but this one seems to lack a bit – it probably lies in the clever script – when an audience is encouraged to fill the gaps without outward running commentary, we draw our own bows and feel a lot more intelligent than “Skyscraper” makes us out to be. Having said that, although covered in cheese, “Skyscraper” is a fun and entertaining movie. Grab a movie snack, put your feet up and be glad you’re not fighting against terrorists in the highest building in the world.