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Skyscraper, 2018  

Review: written 2018

Towering Inferno meets Die Hard


Let’s be clear about this – this is B movie preposterous hokum which borrows heavily from elsewhere. But you know what? It borrows some of the best elements, and.. it has Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. So I loved it on a pure popcorn-leave-your-brain-at-home sort of a way! It’s plot surrounds Dwayne as an ex-special services/ hostage rescuer chap who has come to the end of his career, and has taken a job as a security consultant on the new tallest building in the world in Hong Kong. Alas, rum doings are afoot, and when the tower goes on fire, he is being set up to take the fall. That’s the least of his worries though, as his wife (Neve Campbell – nice to see you again) and two kids are stuck in the building, above the fire line – can he get in and save them?


No prizes for guessing how things go – but its rollicking entertainment on the way, and manages through sheer force of charisma on Johnson’s part to overcome its ludicrosity to become almost believable – believable enough to have me puling my feet over the cinema chair biting my fingernails in suspense at some of the more vertiginous activities. It’s a mixture of 70’s Towering Inferno disaster movie, 80’s muscle-bound action hero against machine gun-toting bad guys, and 90’s Die-Hard style shenanigans. If the bad guys seem somewhat one-note, and nobody will win any Oscars, the most effective set pieces are the escaping from a burning building pieces, though the film sets itself up more as an action movie a la Die Hard. Special effects are mostly seamless though one leap of faith requires a leap of your imagination to match. Frankly the special effect here is Johnson himself, who I’m beginning to think can do just about anything. It’s not just Johnson that works here – I enjoyed seeing Neve Campbell in a role that gave her an opportunity to deal with some baddies to bruising effect. There was even a cheer in the cinema viewing I was in at one of her ‘moments’.


I still have a smile on my face – I’m unlikely to rush out and buy the disc, but this would be an enjoyable guilty pleasure to catch on a plane or on TV.. but my recommendation is to leave the brain at home, head to the cinema and see this on the big screen for the full effect – and watch your smile turn into a grin as you polish off your popcorn. I’m not pretending it’s going to be a classic – but that won’t stop you enjoying it.

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