FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze and he's been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building - above the fire line.Written by
Sawyer couldn't see his family run away on his phone, as Sarahs phone lies on the ground clearly pointed at the ceiling. See more »
[first lines] Attention all units, attention all units, probable of domestic situation with hostage situation. 10-24, officer down. Perp is a caucasian male, no known priors. Considered extremely dangerous. Proceed with caution.:
[over the radio]
Attention all units, attention all units, probable of domestic situation with hostage situation. 10-24, officer down. Perp is a caucasian male, no known priors. Considered extremely dangerous. Proceed with caution.
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When the title is shown on screen in the opening credits, it's shown vertically alongside the Pearl building. This also happens in the end credits. See more »
Skyscraper's premise is pretty easy to put together, the poster for the movie almost encompasses it entirely. With a high rise building on fire, Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) must save his wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and his kids from a team of terrorists led by Kores Botha (Roland Moller). This isn't new, you've got the classics like Die Hard and this movie uses them as a foundation to build upon. Does it differentiate from those movies? I think it does but not always in a good way. There are times where the screenwriter (Rawson Marshall Thurber pulling both writing and directing duties) seems to be tipping his cap to the audience (the jokes around duct tape work the best) but as the movie slips farther and farther into cliche and implausibility, the more difficult I have extending that praise. How in on the joke was the creative team? I honestly don't know, I want to believe they were but some of the decisions the characters make contradict that line of thinking (this is a continual problem not just a one off).
Getting past whether the writer/director was aiming for this kind of film or if they stumbled into it, I have to credit the cast for making lemonade out of lemons. Dwayne Johnson is a bona fide movie star and he gives a decent performance. He tries as hard as he can, and he works in this more often than he doesn't. I thought Neve Campbell was pretty good, she had believable chemistry with Dwayne and she breathes life into what could be a stale character. Chin Han was solid, it was nice to see him in a bigger part and he does his job. Skyscraper doesn't do Noah Taylor or Roland Moller any favours in their respective roles as Mr. Pierce and Kores. I think Roland comes off a little better, but Noah is doomed by his higher profile and you can see where he's heading from moment one. I also felt bad for Pablo Schreiber as Ben, he's a great actor but he hasn't had the best of luck picking projects now that he's transitioning to movies.
Skyscraper has a sizeable budget and the quality of the visual effects benefits for the most part. There was never a point that I was put off by a bad piece of CGI or disappointed from a visual standpoint. The movie has a few nice cinematography moments (they make the most out of the hall of mirrors room cliché) and the fights were okay. Dwayne wasn't 100 percent consistent in acting like an amputee (he's really limping in some scenes, in others not so much) but the action is passable.
I do have plenty of complaints when it comes to Skyscraper, but I can't get deep into them without spoiling big moments in the film. Most of them centre around character motivations (is this really the easiest thing the terrorists could think of to get what they need?), character decisions (I admire Will's commitment to his family but considering what happens, why would he believe his family is still alive at the midpoint?) and really cheesy choices that undermine the thriller aspects of Skyscraper. They would have derailed the movie for me if I hadn't been having such a good time laughing and wondering where they would go next.
I didn't give this movie a high rating, but I was genuinely surprised with how much fun I had with Skyscraper. Did I feel bad for giggling at the implausibility of the plot? A little... the theatre was 1/2 full but the friend I saw this with had the same reaction. Expectations are key when deciding to watch this movie. If you've seen some movies like Skyscraper, the plot twists are going to be obvious, the sentimentality is going to make your eyes roll (even if the actors and actresses are selling out to make it work), and there are going to be some head shaking moments that will try your patience. But I give the cast, the visual effects department and the screenwriter a pat on the back for doing their best and taking what could be a trainwreck into an enjoyable 1hr and 45minutes at the theatre. If you're looking for a turn-your-brain-off style action/thriller with high production values and a talented group of actors, this movie could scratch that type of itch.
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