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Reviews » Theatrical Reviews » Skyscraper
Skyscraper
Universal // PG-13 // July 13, 2018
Review by Neil Lumbard | posted July 26, 2018 | E-mail the Author
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Skyscraper Theatrical Review

Skyscraper is an action-packed special effects movie from writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball, We're The Millers). The film feels like a nostalgic throw back to action-epics like Die Hard with a situation-driven story featuring one action set piece after another. It's another vehicle showcasing the talent of star Dwayne Johnson.

Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) is a securities expert working for a big corporation. He thought his day would be an ordinary one (with nothing too unusual to expect) but things move in the opposite direction when a dangerous group of criminals infiltrate a massive building owned by Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han). Will's wife, Sarah Sawyer (Neve Campbell) becomes trapped in the building with their children. Will must find a way into the building and to save his family from the dangers within.

The film is nothing brilliant (to say the least) but it's an entertaining enough action flick with good performances by Dwayne Johnson and Neve Campbell. Johnson continues to prove why he is an interesting action-movie star after roles in other entertaining flicks like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Rampage, and San Andreas. He has clear star power and is actually an underrated actor. Campbell is also great in her role and it's a delight to see her in a big film again: she matches the charisma of Johnson and the two actors have a good time bouncing off each other in their shared scenes.

The film has some comedic moments sprinkled throughout which add some flair to the film. This is perhaps unsurprising given that the filmmaker comes from a comedy-film background. These small moments of humor add to the entertainment factor and make the film more enjoyable. Surprisingly, however, Johnson is not given these comedic moments as much. This is a curiosity to me as that's actually one of the actors best strengths. Johnson has good comedic-timing in many of his roles. Instead, here he has a more straightforward action role and doesn't get to flex his comedic muscles. Only his actual muscles get flexed.

The film has a slow start and it takes a while for it to find a good groove. Once it does the action picks up and the film becomes an enjoyable old-school style B-movie. The music score by Steven Jablonsky (Transformers, The Island) blares with thunderous bass and action-driven movements to accompany the CG spectacle. Director of photography Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood, Punch-Drunk Love) gives the film some slick photography: the film looks quite stunning visually. If nothing else feels perfectly executed about the film, at least visually it looks marvelous.

Rawson Marshall Thurber seems like an odd choice for an action movie director given his background in comedic films but he makes a reasonable transition to the genre. Though Skyscraper never makes the mark as precisely as it wants to there's still enough fun action set pieces to make it worth a trip to the cinema. The second half of the film picks up considerable steam in it's action sequences. The story is absurd and doesn't really make much of an impression (at all) but if one can switch off their noggin the film is enjoyable entertainment that feels like a decent time at the movies. You probably won't love it but you might just find yourself having a good time. Sometimes, that's enough.

Recommended.

Dolby Cinema:

A word on the Dolby Cinema presentation of Skyscraper: this 4K resolution presentation (with HDR color grading) looks absolutely superb. If you can still manage to see it in a high-end format like this while its in the cinema it's worth the trip to see it on the biggest and best resolution screen possible. It looks terrific and the presentation won't disappoint.

Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

Order "Skyscraper" now!
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