<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 16, 2018

Skyscraper Movie Review: A Thrilling Action Spectacle, Amusing Popcorn Thriller And Unabashed Escapist Entertainment

‘SKYSCRAPER’ is the type of movie that movie critics would love to tear to pieces. But it really has no pretensions of being an art film and is clearly made as unabashed popcorn flick for the U.S. summer. The ubiquitous Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock is back after “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Rampage” (and an HBO TV series, “Ballers”) as Will Sawyer, a former FBI agent who is seen in the movie’s opening scene trying to help a hostaged family but ends being injured by an unexpected bomb that causes the amputation of his left leg.

In the next sequence, we see him sporting a prosthetic leg and already married to Neve Campbell as Sarah, a feisty military doctor who have served in combat. Together with their twin son and daughter, they’re all in Hongkong where Will is hired as a security expert for a private company. His client is the tallest building in the world, the skyscraper called The Pearl, with 225 stories with different environments. Actually, from the outside, this huge monstrosity looks more like a big snake with a ball on its open mouth.

It’s a mile-high Fort Knox that is supposedly impregnable, until terrorists led by Danish actor Roland Moller, who wants to get its owner, a Chinese billionaire, Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), uses Will himself to overcome its tough high tech security measures. Will later finds himself being framed up for the attack of the bad guys on the building.

The movie is a combination of past popcorn hits like “Towering Inferno” and the first “Die Hard”. The action-thriller is written and directed with much flair by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who has directed The Rock before in “Central Intelligence”, an action-comedy. In “Skyscraper”, he really amps the action spectacle with over-the-top sequences and convincing CGI in this delightful piece of escapist entertainment.

The Rock is once again the invincible, almost superhuman hero who we’ve seen before in his past films, like “San Andreas” and “Rampage”. He is shown kicking and jumping from one tough action sequence to another, barely pausing for breath. It is imbued with a funhouse quality while The Rock dashes from one seemingly impossible challenge to another, whether he’s inside the building or while dangling precariously outside of it.

But there are also intense scenes that are meant to tug at your heartstrings, involving the family he has to save from extreme danger after they get perilously trapped inside the burning building’s 96th floor. To complicate things further, his son has asthma and has to struggle through all the smoke of their blazing surroundings.

But of course, the most thrilling scene is the one that we see on the trailer, with The Rock shown climbing a crane then defying gravity as he jumps into the burning building and later climbing and going around the tower’s glass exterior with duct tape wrapped around his hands and saying to himself: “This is stupid.”

And you might want to agree with him but then, that will spoil the fun and the best thing is for you to just suspend your disbelief and enjoy the ride. After all, The Rock’s bigger-than-life persona and bigger-is-better charisma make the cartoonish outlandishness of the fantastic stunts quite easier to take.

The Rock performs his role admirably with all the derring-do and athleticism it requires and his fierce commitment to his role as Will Sawyer. And Neve Campbell also acquits herself believably as his wife-in-distress. Her character is given some heft and dimension, with her fighting some thugs up to very end and figuring out how to put out the raging fire in the building. It’s good that she and The Rock are given enough sweet scenes together to establish some credible chemistry between them in their interracial romance just before the Pearl goes up in flames, so we’re adequately invested in what happens to them as a couple.