Even though Skyscraper feels like it diverts from traditional action movies, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s great. It has some eye-catching and memorable moments but ultimately falls flat due to its main stars feeling out of place and a tone that doesn’t ever seems to fit what the film is going for.
After losing his leg after a mission gone wrong, former Marine and FBI soldier Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) has now become a family man and a security consultant for the world’s tallest building, The Pearl. With over 200 floors and just cracking above the clouds, Sawyer’s wife (Neve Campbell) and his two children should feel safe with all of the security measures. However, just before the residential floors open up to the public, a group of criminals led by Kores Botha (Roland Moller) is searching The Pearl for hidden information and putting Sawyer’s family at risk. Now Sawyer must spring into action to save his family and stop Botha from blowing up The Pearl.
Those going into Skyscraper expecting to see a typical goofy Dwayne Johnson action flick, like Rampage and Fate of the Furious, will be quite surprised to see that this film is not that. It trades its witty one-liners for a more serious tone, but never fully sticks with it.
Skyscraper honestly feels a little bi-polar at times as it tries to have some humorous moments, but can’t escape its dramatic tone and serious score. It basically attempts to feel more like Die Hard, without any of the film’s charm or wit, and ends up feeling much more like a worse version of Taken.
Johnson and Campbell also feel a little out of place in the film and neither really feel like themselves throughout the film. Johnson, who many would normally feel can carry any film with his charming persona, lacks the fun and witty personality that he normally has. Campbell also doesn’t really get much going either and also feels oddly uncomfortable being a part of the film.
Moller and the other antagonists of the film feel like a lot of bark and no bite. Their plan feels very complicated and it constantly has to be reiterated in order to have audiences understand what is happening. There also feels as if there are too many “big players” on the antagonists’ side that feel important but ultimately never become anything special.
The film does have something going for it, though, as the concept is truly interesting and it does have some pretty great action moments. The action stunts definitely have predictable endings, but lead to some pretty memorable moments. Not to mention, having a paraplegic action-hero be the lead feels like something truly new, even though this choice was clearly made for a couple of the film’s action scenes rather than for a unique hero. The film’s final battle between Sawyer and Botha is incredibly entertaining and suspenseful and earns the mark of being a truly cinematic moment.
So while Skyscraper tries to do something different and be original, it doesn’t really do anything great. There are some epic moments, but it gets caught-up in attempting to be both comedic and overly dramatic and its two lead don’t muster up anything too memorable.