Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han
Release Date: October 9, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) now assesses security for skyscrapers. He’s on assignment in China when 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.
A former Hostage Rescue Team leader for the FBI whose life changed dramatically after an unfortunate mission went terribly wrong, Will Sawyer (Johnson) now works as a security assessor and puts his skills to use in a less dangerous environment. Visiting the ultimate of high-rise structures in Japan whose security Will has been assessing and also enjoying the bonus of a luxurious stay for himself and his family during the trip, everything seems to be in calm order. But when a group of dangerous and tech savvy criminals set a massive fire in the middle of the ultimate high-rise in an attempt to take it over with Will’s family still trapped in the building while he himself is not, he immediately springs into action in an attempt to save his family, quickly finding a dangerous, yet feasible way to get inside the building’s higher levels. Now if he can just survive the journey inside and avoid or take down the array of lurking criminals he may stand a chance of finding and rescuing his family before it’s too late.
Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story), Thurber does a quite competent job at the helm of ‘Skyscraper’ guiding his own script along and capturing the high-stakes excitement and fun with ease. The film also features a capable cast comprised of some familiar faces and includes Dwayne Johnson (The Fate of the Furious), Neve Campbell (Scream), Chin Han (The Dark Knight), Roland Møller (Atomic Blonde), Noah Taylor (Paddington 2), Byron Mann (The Big Short), Pablo Schreiber (Den Of Thieves) and more, the majority providing pretty solid overall performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Skyscraper’ is a tense, visually impressive action film that offers its share of extravagant action sequences, along with plenty of mindless and explosive fun that always manages to look downright spectacular. It’s by no means anything monumental in the action genre and does suffer to some degree from being a bit too predictable at times and borrowing heavily from other similar films. But at the same time the action is fun, the visually spectacular imagery nary fails to impress and one just can’t help but enjoy seeing Dwayne Johnson do his thing even if the film he’s doing it in may not be perfect. Even so, it’s by no means a bad film either and at the absolute least had zero issue keeping me thoroughly entertained throughout its duration. It’s capably guided along by writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber whose work behind the camera is complimented splendidly by star Dwayne Johnson and the familiarity between the two doesn’t hurt in the slightest either, the pair having also recently worked together on ‘Central Intelligence’. I would certainly encourage fans of the ever-enjoyable Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to give it a whirl whenever possible, along with anyone that tends to enjoy a fairly simplistic and predictable, yet still massively enjoyable ride that should have no trouble holding your attention. At the very least it should stand a good chance of proving worthy of your time and the price of a rental for anyone already even mildly intrigued.
Overall, ‘Skyscraper’ is an explosive, visually impressive and just downright enjoyable movie that doesn’t bring anything overly exceptional or unique to the table, but certainly manages to do a more than capable job for the most part in crafting a loud, fast moving and notably fun high-stakes adventure that does not disappoint in offering up a pretty solid and gorgeous looking popcorn flick that won’t require a great deal of thought or brain power. ‘Skyscraper’ is definitely recommended for anyone that enjoys a consistently entertaining and visually spectacular film to just let go with and enjoy after a long day. It may have its share of faults and falls into overly familiar patterns at times, but still has more than enough going for it in order to make it well worth checking out, especially for fans of Dwayne Johnson.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Skyscraper’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks gorgeous altogether and delivers a sharp, clean and detailed presentation from start to finish that suffers no substantial flaws along the way. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never allowing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic high definition video presentation that should easily please both fans of the film and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD presentation. This multichannel soundtrack provides a crisp, clean and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to immerse viewers in the on screen fun by sending flames, debris, bullets and more constantly zipping throughout the various speakers and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a marvelous Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds consistently magnificent and contributes plenty of extra fun and excitement to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Skyscraper’ features a decent collection of extras that delve deeper into bringing the film to life. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Writer and Director Rawson Marshall Thurber’, in addition to a collection of both ‘Deleted Scenes’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length altogether) and ‘Extended Scenes’ (approximately 10 minutes combined) from the movie, both of which also feature optional commentary by Thurber. Also included are a number of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of creating the film and including interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Dwayne Johnson: Embodying A Hero’ (running approximately 4 minutes), ‘Inspiration’ (approximately 4 minutes), ‘Opposing Forces’ (3 minutes), ‘Friends No More’ (3 minutes), ‘Kids In Action’ (3 minutes) and ‘Pineapple Pitch’ (2 minutes).