Review by J.T. Johnson
DIRECTOR: Rawson Marshall Thurber
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Robert Elswit
WRITER: Rawson Marshall Thurber
MUSIC: Steve Jablonsky
This morning, I went to turn on my lights in my bedroom and nothing happened. I hit the switch, pulled the cord and got nothing. I looked around the house to see if a breaker had been thrown or if any other lights had gone out. I vented on Facebook and later, a friend of mine named Jared asked me about the situation and I gave him the update.
Now, you’re probably asking me why I’m telling you all this. The answer is simple. My brief exchange with Jared took place while I was sitting in a theater watching “Skyscraper”. That’s how much I wanted to escape the film. I was more interested in checking the notifications on Facebook and talking about lighting problems.
I have a rule that I never walk out of a movie while I’m watching it, yet this movie sure as hell challenged that policy a couple of times. People are trying to figure out why the film did not do well at the box office this past weekend when it premiered yet the answer is painfully simple.
Yes, the movie is a ripoff of “Die Hard” and “The Towering Inferno”, but anyone watching the advertisements can see that. Apparently, writer and director Rawson Marshall Thurber decided that throwing a fake leg in there would help make it more original. Instead, it just made the already bone-headed over-the-top action that much more ridiculous.
The movie’s plot is insanely simple. Some Asian rich dude has built the world’s tallest and most state-of-the art skyscraper. A bunch of nameless gangsters, complete with a soft-speaking henchwoman, take over the tower. Mediocre mayhem begins.
Meanwhile, Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) is a former FBI agent who lost his leg in a botched hostage situation but has gone on to marry Sarah (Neve Campbell) and have two kids. Will has created a security firm that has assessed the really tall building and when his family is trapped in the tower as things go wacky, he goes in to save the day.
I’ll be the first to tell that I don’t particularly care all the time if a film rips off another movie or movies. What frustrates me is when the movie can’t rise to the quality of what inspires it, leaving me not only bored but wondering why they even bothered to make the movie.
The performances in the film are good, specifically from Johnson and Campbell, but they don’t really have much to do either together or in a film that wants to rush its already thin plot. The actors playing the terrorists are easily forgettable to the point where I’m having trouble remembering them as I write this review. Again, if you can’t have a terrorist that matches the level of Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber in “Die Hard” or even Jeremy Irons’ Simon Gruber in “Die Hard with a Vengeance”, then why even try to compete.
Anyway, the film is completely unnecessary with no memorable action sequences. A lot of things blow up and fights occur, but I was ultimately bored. If you’ll excuse me, I think I have a couple of notifications I need to go check.