Entertainment » Movies


by Derek Deskins
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Oct 10, 2018

Dwayne Johnson works a lot. In just the last two years, he has starred in five movies, two TV series, a video game, and a series of shorts. There is no escaping the ubiquitous presence of the actor formerly known as the "The Rock." I'm not opposed to it, I, like many Americans, fall for the charm and swagger of Mr. Johnson, and his acting range has improved astronomically since the days of "The Scorpion King," but I want something more. "Skyscraper" is like pretty much everything that the actor is a part of: Passably mediocre.

"The Pearl," standing at 3,500 feet tall is the largest building ever constructed. The structure is the passion project of Zhao Long Ji, an obscenely wealthy Chinese entrepreneur. He also intends for it to be the safest structure to grace the planet. In order to conduct a full assessment of the security and safety of the building he brings in Will Sawyer, a US Marine war veteran and FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader. After finishing an exhaustive study, Sawyer proclaims "The Pearl" to be like no other building he has ever assessed. Shortly after leaving, enemies of Zhao infiltrate the building with the goal of destroying his beauty. What they don't count on is Sawyer's family being around, and just how far he is willing to go to save them.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that "Skyscraper" has been compared to "Die Hard" ad nauseum. Sure, both movies have a tall building, foreign terrorists with a motive that doesn't readily reveal itself, and one man to fight them all, powered by little more than a love for his family. But outside of those plot checkpoints, "Skyscraper" is another thing entirely, and the comparison does nothing for either movie.

The action in "Skyscraper" is cut from the blockbuster cloth, with huge, physics-defying stunts and arguably more explosions than there are characters. Writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber does an admirable job with all of the action madness, but he struggles to do much else with the film. Despite having previously shown that he knows how to handle comedy, his work on "Skyscraper" is shockingly devoid of moments of levity. The main character of Will Sawyer largely squanders the greatest strength of Dwayne Johnson: His charm.

For the Blu-ray release, special features are treated like explosions and thrown all over the place. Thurber presence is everywhere on the release, with a full-feature commentary and an optional commentary on the plethora of extended and deleted scenes. Although many of the other featurettes are brief and mostly fluff, it gives you a chance to get the Dwayne Johnson that you were looking for, all big smiles and warm laughs. While the amount of insight that the sum total of the special features offer is slim, they are all enjoyable enough that you kind of don't care. It feels appropriate, as "Skyscraper" as a film is an entertaining and serviceable action movie, if being ultimately kind of empty inside.

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD


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