Though the Rock does his part with some okay action scenes & CGI, this Die Hard-imposter suffers by nonexistent characterization, razor-thin plotting, unfeasible stunts, predictable twists, and otherwise-awful acting. Disposable blockbuster. 2.1/10.
Plot Synopsis: Will Sawyer is a former FBI agent and U.S. war veteran who now assesses security for skyscrapers. While he’s on assignment in China, the world’s tallest and safest building catches on fire — and Will gets framed for it. Now a wanted man and on the run, he must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family members when they become trapped inside the inferno.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Review: A modern-day Die Hard. That’s what we were promised by Skyscraper’s stellar Super Bowl LII marketing campaign, even more hype-worthy given the announcing of Hollywood/blockbuster-king Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as lead man. And that was a better twist and more elegant con than anything that made its way on screen in this cookie-cutter mess of a summer movie. Though the Rock tries his damndest and does his part – with some okay action scenes & CGI, this Die Hard-imposter suffers by nonexistent characterization, thin plotting, entirely unfeasible stunts, predictable twists, & awful acting for a disposable blockbuster that should’ve never existed.
Pros are few and far between in this mess of a film lost by its own hand from the very start invoking a legendary genre entry like Willis’ D.H., but positives wholly gravitate around one thing: The Rock. He certainly gives his all and services his role about as well as he possibly could have, delivering the badassness and charismatic masculinity anyone would’ve expected him to bring to the screen in buoyant loads – deserving a much better surrounding canvas to match his personality-bursting heroics. Some of the action is exhilarating and CGI fine as modern filmmaking allows it to more artfully and freely test the limits of stuntwork possible, but the problem is – it lets it inflate its ego to woozying proportions.
Not only are the stunts absolutely ridiculous, they defy sheer laws of physics and believability to the point of becoming simply laughable. We’re apparently supposed to believe a man visibly-hobbling around on one good leg the entire film – can somehow jump across buildings seemingly hundreds of feet apart, climb up stories of scaffolding without even a safety rope, and traverse countless all-glass windows as slippery as ice.. without even breaking a sweat? Chalking up all this superhero-like parkour impossibility in stunts to #family is tremendously injudicious as well, with nonexistent characterization or exploration besides one opening scene they look meekly-together or even indifferent in all honesty. This perplexing incongruence in plot, characterization, & acting of why Sawyer loves his family sooo much to be hellbent enough to jump between skyscrapers dooms the film as much as gravity any normal person who tried the jump in real life.
The plotting is as thin as Christmas-sliced ham, twists wholly predictable by any dumb explosion-riddled action movie standards, and acting absolutely horrendous by all non-Johnson parties. Besides The Rock and Chin Han, the rest of the cast looks positively somnambulistic or shakily/cringily delivering lines like this is the first time they’ve ever seen the light of (or even watched) a movie before – *especially* the kid actors boasting perhaps the worst line delivery I’ve seen this millennium. Bravo.
Overall, Skyscraper is as painful to watch as splatting on the ground after attempting one of the film’s unfeasible stunts in real life. The Rock does his part with some decent action sequences & modern tech-CGI to match his charismatic masculine lead, but this modern Die Hard-imposter suffers by nonexistent characterization, thin plotting, entirely ridiculous stunts, predictable twists, & awful acting for a disposable, cookie-cutter summer blockbuster you’re better off just watching the original Die Hard again instead. Yippee-ki-nay, motherf*****.
Official CLC Score: 2.1/10