Skyscraper Movie Review
If stupidity had fists, I just got beaten into submission. Skyscraper, the movie marketed as a “dumb Die Hard,” is actually dumber than you could ever imagine—and yet, somehow, oddly, amazingly, not dumb enough.
Dwayne Johnson stars in this movie that is basically designed around the fact that Dwayne Johnson is big and strong, physics and logic be damned. Johnson scales a 100-story construction crane, jumps from said crane into a burning building 20+ yards away, rappels down the building to get to a control panel that is of course located in a place a control panel would never be located, and singlehandedly holds up a decaying bridge with his bare arms.
And, even odder, you get the sense that no one on the film actually was trying to make a movie as dumb as it is.
Skyscraper begins entertainingly enough, at least until Johnson gets back into the burning building (“let’s make Die Hard but he isn’t in the building when shit goes down” is how this movie may have been pitched). Writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, We’re the Millers) delivers a few adequately entertaining action sequences, though the crane scene is arguably the best, with Johnson defying gravity and physics to get back to his family. And for those of you who are truly able to check your brains at the door, the movie offers more than enough stupid, fast-paced antics to keep you engaged.
(note I said engaged instead of entertained)
I went into Skyscraper fully expecting (and looking forward to) stupid-as-hell action, but the deeper into the film you go, the more nonsensical it becomes, and why it isn’t clear. Had Thurber fully embraced the fact that his movie has the IQ of a concussed Forrest Gump, Skyscraper may have worked, but instead it remains in limbo, too dumb to be taken seriously but not zany enough to play to its strengths.
The plot is nonsensical, clearly added after the central concept was envisioned (The Rock in a burning building! Why is he there?), and even Johnson looks confused—and a little bored—as things progress. The dumber things get, the more bored I got, too, the action only marginally interesting and generally generic. The climax is mind-numbing.
Skyscraper will appeal to some, but Johnson and can and should do better, and audiences certainly deserve better to be beaten to death by the embodiment of stupidity.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.