Film Review: Excess & Dwayne Johnson is How ‘Skyscraper’ Works

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CHICAGO – The Dwayne Johnson formula is what it is, as it seems for about three to five films a year. A disaster strikes, but the Johnson character has loved ones among the victims, and in his background (military, police, mercenary) there is enough expertise to rescue them. “Skyscraper” is the latest.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

“Skyscraper” had to be the easiest “elevator pitch” in film history… “Die Hard” meets “The Towering Inferno.” In this one, Johnson is ex-FBI and a security expert for the tallest building in the world… in Hong Kong. So when a fire gets lit in that high tower, and Johnson’s family is trapped inside, well, the rest of it becomes the formula. It still works, in a “B” movie kind of way, because even though the formula is in place, it’s always weirdly fascinating as to how it’s going to work, and often it is Dwayne Johnson – and his inherent likability – that is the secret to the success. “Skyscraper” is a hot-popcorn-in-a-cold-theater summer escape.

The film starts with a flashback for Will Sawyer (Johnson) as he works as a hostage negotiator for the FBI. A suicide bomber explodes in front of him, and he partially loses a leg. Flashing forward several years later, Sawyer has recovered, and his fledgling security consulting gets a boost from his old colleague Ben (Pablo Schreiber). Security needs to be analyzed, and Sawyer gets the contract for the tallest building in the world, “The Pearl,” built by billionaire Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han).

Even though the residence part of the tower hasn’t opened, Sawyer’s wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and children (McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell) are living there while Sawyer does his pitch. It turns out Ben is using Sawyer as a pawn to infiltrate the computerized security system, for a crime boss named Botha (Roland Moller). The torch is lit in the residential towers, and the Skyscraper starts to burn-baby-burn. Only Will Sawyer has the knowledge to save his family and the day.

“Skycraper” opens everywhere in regular and 3D/IMAX on July 13th. See local listings for 3D/IMAX theaters and show times. Featuring Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Chin Han, Noah Taylor, McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell and Roland Moller. Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Sorry to Bother You”

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Hanging On: Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) in ‘Skyscraper’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Sorry to Bother You”

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