It’s fair to say that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has become the champion of the action blockbuster genre over the past few years.
Be it in the Fast and Furious films, disaster epic San Andreas or the largely ridiculous (but still fun) Rampage, you know what to expect when you see the former WWE star attached to an action project.
Obviously I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the star formerly know as the most electrifying man in sports entertainment – so Skyscraper (which may initially appear to be a Die Hard rip-off) did grab my attention.
The plot follows the story of Will Sawyer (Johnson), who is about to have a stinker of a day.
The disabled former FBI asset happens to find himself and his family – wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and their two kids – stuck in the world’s largest building (a Hong Kong skyscraper called The Pearl) on the day that a team of bad guys plot to burn it to the ground.
Sawyer (now a security expert) and his family are the first family to take up residency in The Pearl, with billionaire owner Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han) hoping that he’ll officially clear it for others to move in. However, when things take a turn for the worse, Sawyer must do everything in his power to save the lives of his family in a skyscraper that is under meticulous attack.
As plots go, it’s pretty simple. Sure, there are plenty of holes in the story that will make you question your own eyes – but this is very much a leave your brain at the door kind of film.
It’d be remiss of me not to talk up The Pearl itself. The building, dubbed three times taller than the Empire State Building, is a thing of beauty.
Some of the scenes we’re treated to (pre-attack) are very impressive, but it does feel like something out of the sci-fi genre (it reminded me of Mass Effect’s Citadel, for those who know their video games).
The action comes thick and fast too, with Sawyer pulling off some death-defying stunts that clearly wouldn’t come off in the real world.
Thankfully, we can accept such events because the core characters are very likeable.
Sawyer allows Johnson to show off a more vulnerable side that his regular roles don’t usually offer, while it’s great to see Campbell back on the big screen.
She’s an excellent foil for Johnson – and their kids aren’t even that annoying (barring a bit of situational asthma for their son).
There’s a wider plot involving Zhao in play that does help pad the film out, but it never really resonates like the Sawyer family drama.
Of course, I can’t tell you that Skyscraper is vintage cinema. I can’t even suggest that it’s a great action film.
But, if you do possess the ability to switch off your brain before you enter the cinema, it’s a very enjoyable popcorn fare that should scratch your action itch.
With strong characters, action aplenty, an impressive setting and family plot that does at least make sense amid some very unbelievable moments, Skyscraper is well worth your time and is fine for all of the family.
Voice Verdict: 7.5/10
+ The Rock and Neve Campbell
+ Impressive action and setting
+ Solid story
– Obvious plot holes
Boston’s West End Cinema (Fri, July 27 to Thu, Aug 2)
ANT MAN & THE WASP (12A)
2D – 5.40pm (Thu), 8.20pm (Thu)
3D – 2.40pm (Thu)
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 (U)
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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT (12A)
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MAMMA MIA HERE WE GO AGAIN! (PG)
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