Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Dwayne Johnson – Will Sawyer
Neve Campbell – Sarah Sawyer
Chin Han – Zhao Long
Roland Møller – Kores Botha
Noah Taylor – Mr. Pierce
Pablo Schreiber – Ben
Byron Mann – Inspector Wu
Hannah Quinlivan – Xia
I was pleasantly surprised by Skyscraper. The gigantic poster stuck to the wall in the hallway of VUE cinemas (Lowry Outlet, Manchester – quite nice in there actually) a while back drew nothing more from me than a, “hmm” as I looked at it. Dwayne Johnson clinging to a ledge of a building with a panicked expression on his sweaty face. It looked like any other standard action flick where the director proudly flaunts an A-list meathead in a hazardous setting, knowing for a fact the mans muscle-bound style and attitude will override any part of the story viewers deem shit. Except in this case the situation story wins by providing entertaining action in a standard, everyday environment.
Most movies exaggerate their surroundings with glossy CGI buildings and accompanying vehicles, etc. They go all out to provide speedy action in various locations such as highways, mountain tops and even the dusty lands of different planets. Skyscraper contains all of its action and suspense in one simple space – the foundation of an exquisite building in central China. No other areas are needed. Less is more in some movies, and this one proves the point by focusing purely on Will and his gutsy attempt at getting into a burning building.
Some of this movie is so ridiculous that it makes highly entertaining viewing, whether you enjoy it or not. Moments such as building collapse and Will hanging by his foot from a window ledge hundreds of feet up in the air are sure to have fans gasping in surprise, and non-fans disliking the movie – but still wondering how the hell the scenarios are going to end.
I personally haven’t seen anything like Skyscraper in years, which is a good thing because its overall theme of desperation laced with an air of pure adrenaline pulled me in instantly and became more and more unique as the movie progressed. But a feature which shows a singular character going to extreme lengths to save a situation from becoming worse isn’t just unique, it also relies heavily on that one actor / actress to deliver the goods performance-wise. And fortunately Johnson doesn’t falter.
The beefy bastard climbs, falls, jumps and swings his way through the movie like a miscast Tarzan, a constant energy fizzing from his larger than life performance. He brings drama when needed in more serious scenes, brings laughs when his character gets caught up in ridiculous situations. No flash cars, guns or wrestling here – just adrenaline brought to you solely by one man. The actor is to be applauded for his versatility during Skyscraper; it’s probably one of Johnson’s most dynamic displays.
Viewers who suffer with vertigo may want to steer clear though..
About halfway through Skyscraper is a dizzying scene which sees Will scale a crane located on a construction site – and his attempt to jump from its extended arm across to a window of The Pearl. It’s a ludicrously tense moment which is sure to have some intrigued viewers on the edge of their seats clapping their hands, and non-intrigued viewers (as mentioned above) not giving a shit but still wondering how the scenario will end. And another deathly moment of glory comes about when the leading man is seen hanging upside down from a window ledge by his leg. In a bungee-like way, the character has to try and get back inside the skyscraper whilst hanging from a cable wrapped around his leg..
The whole movie is absolutely ridiculous, but pure escapism at the same time. And the bad bits?..
I think the only thing which lets this movie down is its slower scenes between Will and members of his family. Or Will and the enemies he faces. These moments seem to include a load of boring dialogue and is perfect if you work in HR (most of it focuses on Will’s new job, new company, preparing to impress that company, etc.) – but otherwise it can prove dull.
I thoroughly recommend Skyscraper as one to watch when you’re feeling adventurous. Put your feet up and indulge in the insanely breathtaking action on screen. But be warned – some scenes may make you feel queasy. Otherwise, if you have a steady stomach when it comes to heights – enjoy!