Skyscraper – Throwback to ‘one-man army’ days

Jul 17, 2018
Remember Die HardSudden Death or Taken where one responsible family man takes on those who try to harm his family? Add The Towering Inferno into the mix and you get Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Skyscraper where the plot is similar but the execution is upgraded. Instead of an active cop, a disgraced firefighter or a former military man, we have a decorated former FBI agent who lost one of his legs in the line of duty. With 3D making the film look grand, Skyscraper takes you on a heroic journey of a man who would take it to the next level to save his family.
The Plot
Will Sawyer (The Rock) and his family have been invited to Hong Kong where he inspects the world’s largest building ‘The Pearl’ and presents his assessment to the makers. Unknown to all, terrorists take over the building, set it on fire and when they are about to get to the boss, he locks himself in a secure location. Only one person knows how to open the secure door and they make Sawyer go for it by kidnapping his daughter. After saving his stuck-in-the-building wife (Neve Campbell) and son, Sawyer goes to rescue his daughter with the help of the Chinese architect. Is he able to save the building from burning down and rescue his friends or does he succumb like others, watch the film to find out more.
The Good
When the film has 'The Rock' in it, you can expect non-stop action and some quality stunts; despite being shown to be a handicapped ex-soldier, The Rock managed to show his muscle and show all those family men who want to be a hero in front of their kids, how it is done. The special effects were amazing and so were the CGI which made you believe that the building was on fire and that you could feel the heat. In many scenes, you sympathized with The Rock because it was like showing Arnold Schwarzenegger to be handicapped or Sylvester Stallone to be someone who isn’t fully fit. Neve Campbell as Mrs. Sawyer had her moments in the film when she fought with the villains or did her own stunts, stealing the show from 'The Rock' in a few scenes.
The Bad
Nearly everyone who saw the film criticized it for being too similar to yesteryear classics from The Towering Inferno from where they borrowed the ‘building on fire’ idea; Die Hard where one man saved many including his wife who was stuck in a high-rise building; Sudden Death where one man had to do the unthinkable to save his family, and Taken where one man destroyed an army just because they had laid a hand on his daughter. There were elements from Commando as well where a seemingly helpless father uses his military training to make the bad guys realize that they made a mistake in pissing him off. Everybody knew the end and was waiting for it to happen with ‘how’ being the only question in their minds.
The Verdict 2.5/5
Had the film’s plot not been predictable and had there been a twist that would have boggled the audience’s mind, it would have done well. Since that’s wasn’t the case, Skyscraper came out as one of those films that are good for one time viewing but with a little more effort could have been much much better. Yes, the special effects that were shown for ‘The Pearl’ or the climax were good enough for an action thriller but the ride till the end was nearly known to all.


Omair Alavi

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