The trailers leading up to Skyscraper made the audience believe that this was most likely going to be a sort of remake of Die Hard but with Dwayne Johnson as the lead. Now I love Dwayne (AKA The Rock) just as much as the next guy, and I was solely rooting for him to make this predictable looking movie into something fun and really out-there unique. Unfortunately, even with Dwayne trying his very best, he couldn’t make a weak script jump off the page and become a phenomenal action film - instead leaving us with a dull remake that drags us through the motions until the credits roll.
Rawson Marshall Thurber, the director of We’re the Millers, climbed on board this action thriller - writing the script, as well as taking on the role of director. It’s play by play a film we’ve all seen before, just chopped up and Frankenstein constructed back together on the big screen. The flow was way off, and that is mainly due to the writing. The direction however, especially from the man behind the pen, comes off as dull entertainment that ruins every moment of suspense and tension with wasted opportunities. The setting is fine for the film that was being made, but the actors involved around the area don’t come off as a realistic conflict in the real world. The movie tries to be a fun movie but takes on too many dull conflicts to really draw the viewer into the action taking place on screen. It’s also worth noting that Thurber did the one thing you should never do, and that’s make Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson a wimp.
As per usual with this man’s writing, the conflict comes in here with the plot. This is his first action film and while it’s clear he had his influences vividly involved with every piece of writing in the film, the film still feels choppy and problematic. The dialogue in the film comes off as cheesy, that beyond a few great moments of acting from Johnson, really make the film suffer with the unrealistic narrative and confusing conflicts. This film is no Die Hard, but it never tries to make it so people can’t compare the two, as it’s clearly trying to play off of the vibes from the Die Hard series but just can’t find the tone it wants to go with. There’s some good material in here, but it’s overshadowed by the bad that appears in a majority of the film and the errors in writing a clearly thought out story. You know what, I take that back, sometimes the writer thinks too far ahead and makes it very clear he’s doing so. At most points in the film you might as well just change the title to “Foreshadow” because it is ever so clear that Thurber is trying to set up thing after thing to make for better story building. However, it fails entirely.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Dwayne Johnson was unfortunately miscast in this completely unfitting role, as he takes on a role that doesn’t fit his physique or attitude. He’s not as overly charming as usual and even though he looks strong in his build, his character in Skyscraper is a huge wuss. Neve Campbell and the child actors in the film are a decent bunch of characters, but they don’t showcase themselves as anything exceptional beyond their overall bland roles. The authority figures of the film are irritating, but their roles are minimal compared to the others that are just a small disappointing piece of the puzzle. The villain and the man who caused the events to occur within the run time of Skyscraper are forgettable, never striking a cord with the audience. Truthfully, not a single character stands out, nor is an interesting attribute to make the film more fun or realistic- the film just falls flat on its face with its characters in every regard.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Think of the most generic score that you could possibly think of for an action movie to possess, and you have this groan worthy score by Steve Jablonsky. The sound effects grow numb to my ears after the excess amount of explosions that fill almost the entirety of the film. Gunshots and fist fights come off as an unabashed example of cliche sound effects, dragging a film even further into the terrible abyss.
This film cost 120 million dollars in production costs but after seeing it, it’s really confusing as to where all of that money went. Did the movie spend that much money on just affording to construct the skyscraper digitally and have fire effects spread throughout it? The film doesn’t contain a second of bad cgi, but it never takes the leap to stand out either, which brings back that question. Where did all that money go to? The makeup design is well done, although similar to another Dwayne Johnson film, when he gets hurt, it seems to just disappear after a moment or two as if the audience would have just forgot about anything ever happening.
Skyscraper is a failed attempt to try to be a Die Hard clone. While I’m not ranking it against that particularly, it’s not even a fun film in general. With many dull characters taking over the feature, the film never shines through its characterization and its action set pieces are predictable, boring, big budget misfires. As a gigantic fan of Dwayne Johnson, Skyscraper is truly the worst film in his filmography and one of the worst films of the year. Try to ignore it at all costs if at all manageable, because there are plenty of fun action films out there and there are certainly better Die Hard clones out there too. If you want a Die Hard inspired film, why not just watch any Die Hard film (excluding A Good Day…) to get your fix.