In Theatres: 
Jul 13, 2018
Running Time: 
102 minutes

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is arguably the biggest action star working in Hollywood today. From the Fast and Furious franchise to Jumanji and Rampage, his attitude is always to go big or go home, which has led to him becoming a worldwide box office phenomenon. Skyscraper fits the definition of a summer action blockbuster like a glove, taking elements of Die Hard and The Towering Inferno and pushing them to the absolute limit of absurdity. But for a genre that is the Rock’s bread and butter, Skyscraper is mind-numbingly dull.


Will Sawyer (Johnson) worked in hostage rescue for the FBI until his lost his leg in an explosion during one fateful incident. Years later and he is now a security consultant assessing the tallest building in the world, “The Pearl,” which is on the verge of opening its upper residential floors to the general public. Despite being labeled as the safest megastructure in the world, a fire breaks out on one of the floors as the Pearl gets taken over by a group of terrorists led by Bothra (Roland Møller), who is after building’s designer Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han). With his family trapped inside the burning building, Will is determined to do anything possible to save them.


Skyscraper is about as generic as actions films come as it is filled with just about every trope there is with the genre. The Rock is indestructible as he does the impossible. We’ve all seen the ridiculous crane jump from the trailers, but that’s just the beginning of the absurdity from Skyscraper. Scaling buildings with nothing but some rope and duct tape, jumping through spinning metal turbines of death; nothing is too extreme for the Rock. By far my favorite scene in the entire film is when he has to hold up the wires on either side of a crumbling bridge to keep it from falling. It’s so absurd and pointless, and it’s only included to show the Rock flexing his muscles. It’s impossible not to laugh at it.


Despite the intensity of everything happening, Skyscraper feels oddly empty. There’s nothing exhilarating about any of it. The Rock is going through the same motions as he did in all his previous films, doing things we’ve seen done better on the big screen. The film supposed to pay homage to action films like Die Hard, but ends up being just a lackluster rip-off. It beats you over the head with exposition as it throws in scenes that feel absolutely pointless other than to set up some big moment later on in the film like the giant TV screen filled room housed at the top of the Pearl or Will fixing his wife’s phone by turning it on and then off again. One of the things that bother me most about is that you never fully understand the villains motives. Bothra wants something that Zhao has but it’s never revealed what that exactly is until close to the end. I simply didn’t care about any of these characters.


I enjoy watching Dwayne Johnson, but even his charisma and passion cannot save Skyscraper from coming crashing down to the ground. Typically Johnson comes out on top but this is a case where fire undoubtedly beats Rock. In the end, Skyscraper is a lifeless action film that adds nothing to the genre.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook