Playing a security expert brought in to evaluate a new structure, Dwayne Johnson fights fire, mocks death defying drops and tackles heavily armoured henchmen in Die Hard meets Towering Inferno action-adventure Skyscraper.
Dwayne Johnson has gone the extra mile in making himself into what could best be described as a Renaissance man brand. Former wrestler and shameless self-promoter The Rock has worked hard at putting across a persona which is both hugely likable, genuinely bankable and above all versatile. His extensive use of Instagram keeps fans around the world up to date on current projects while the good causes and family life are also given equal screen time. From a marquee movie point of view he has climbed beyond his initial forays to become both family friendly and action ready. For anyone paying attention this is impressive.
With Skyscraper he is part family man, part action star and all Rock. Playing a security expert brought in to evaluate a new structure, Johnson fights fire, mocks death defying drops and tackles heavily armoured henchmen. It garnered some criticism upon initial release due to his character donning a false limb caused early on, but for my money this impacts little on the overall experience. Skyscraper is part Die Hard, part Towering Inferno and all action. Neve Campbell who most will remember from her time in the Scream franchise provides limited but admirable support, while his children are both plucky and natural.
Chin Han who some might recall from The Dark Knight seems to be the go-to man when Far East billionaire tycoons or shady CEOs are needed. As far as conceits and plot twists are concerned Skyscraper fails to bring anything new to the table, but nonetheless is action packed fun carried by a charismatic Johnson and solid support. Combined with his prequel spin off Hobbs and Shaw opposite Jason Statham and production duties on Fighting In The Family, the former WWE superstar is currently covering all bases.
By using his credentials to headline marquee pictures then pumping proceeds into smaller projects Johnson is using a tried and tested formula allowing himself creative freedom. In Skyscraper his greatest power is not that trailer shot of him leaping from a crane through thin air, but setting this film in the Far East and ultimately being savvy enough to give someone else the power to save his life. Self-aware, self-deprecating and in it for the long game, beneath the formidable brawn there is clearly a sharp business mind at work with more than his own interests at heart. Which makes this action packed homage much more than the sum of its parts.
Written by Martin Carr
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Written by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor
Skyscraper was released on UK Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on November 19, 2018.