+/- Recommended with Discretion – PG-13, Action, Drama
I am somewhat… conflicted about the rating for Skyscraper. Here’s the thing, it’s not an altogether bad film. There’s a way to do a fun, brain-less action film and this one just errs on the side of literally not needing a brain. The redeeming features come from our cast members, let me break it down for you.
The selling point for this movie has and always will be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and in Skyscraper, he plays security expert, Will Sawyer. Sawyer is a former military operative that lost his leg in a hostage situation gone explosive. He’s recruited by a former member of his team to be an independent third party and screen the security measures for the newest and tallest building in the world: The Pearl. While he and his family are in Hong Kong, a group breaks in and sets the building on fire and Will Sawyer has to race the flames and an unknown militarized force to get his family out alive. I was surprisingly disappointed with his role. His lines, for the most part, fell incredibly flat and the film might actually have been better if his character wasn’t in it at all. At the most, he was a walking advertisement for duct tape. Seriously, there was a ridiculous amount of screen time and direct references for duct tape. Duct tape was a better character than Will Sawyer.
The supporting cast is what really makes this film pop. McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell play Sawyer’s children and their limited screen time is fine. They weren’t pushed into scenes unnessecarily and they looked and acted like normal kids. Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han) was a bit of an enigma. His performance was stoic and reserved, but the writing surrounding his character was removed from reality. There were a lot of contradictions every time he was on screen and his interactions with our villain, Kores Botha (Roland Møller) made him seem like he was playing more than one person. Our villain was, for lack of a better word, bland. His scenes had no tension to them, and therein lies the real issue with this movie. There’s no tension. The plot is predictable and I, at no point, was actually concerned for any of these characters and I really wanted to be. I started writing this review by giving it a + Recommended, but I think I’ve talked myself into lowering that. What I mean, I guess, by saying the cast is what makes this film great, is that literally one person is the only saving grace for Skyscraper.
Neve Campbell completely redeems this movie. I wanted so many more scenes with her character and if you’ve ever wanted the definition of badass, you need to watch her in this film. She plays Sarah Sawyer, Will’s wife, a naval combat surgeon with a minor in foreign language(?). Listen, I’m not saying that her backstory makes all the sense in the world, much like this film, but she breathes life into what should have been a non-starter. Her fight scenes, and everyone’s actually, seem well choreographed and believable. There are moments where you see that this movie could have been a redeeming moment for our recent slew of action movies that belong in the garbage, but Skyscraper is yet another let down.
Did you make it out to see Skyscraper this weekend? Let us know some of your favorite action films in the comments below. I need a reminder that there are still some good ones out there.