Summer is the time for spectacle action movies and nothing looks to be trying to fit that bill more than Dwayne Johnson's Skyscraper. It's an old-fashioned action movie that sees obvious influences from franchises like Die Hard, and other "one man versus the world" style action movies. Based on the reviews, that have hit this morning ahead of the film's Friday release, Skyscraper is clearly NOT Die Hard. However, that doesn't mean that it isn't entirely without charm and significant entertainment value. Out own Conner Schwerdtfeger gave the film three stars and while he says it has its issues, it will satisfy the summer action fan...
Skyscraper isn't as good or exciting as the films that it pays homage to, but it's a refreshing change of pace to see a competently-made original summer action movie.
The Wrap is sure to mention that Skyscraper isn't a wholly original concept, but doesn't think that will be much of a problem for the audience looking for a good time.
You'll recognize the DNA of other movies here, but that familiarity won't interfere with the vertiginous thrills, the breathtaking stunts (and CG), and the near-constant state of adrenaline-fueled action.
Few reviews are entirely glowing regarding Skyscraper, but many of them accept that, while the movie may not be perfect, there is some enjoyable action to watch and some fun to be had. As is frequently the case, Dwayne Johnson himself gets a lot of the credit for carrying the audience through any weak spots in the film. As Variety humorously puts it...
This is escapism, pure and simple, and though the structure is rickety, by enlisting Johnson, Thurber ensures that his Skyscraper is built on solid Rock.
However, while most seem to think that Skyscraper is at least enough fun to get you through, others are less generous. Entertainment Weekly recognizes the two films that were clearly the primary inspiration for Skyscraper, but it doesn't think the new film does anything that those movies did that made them great.
A film that suggests what would happen if you took The Towering Inferno and Die Hard and stripped them of the qualities that made both work.
The roughest review comes from The New York Post, who gives the movie only a single star out of four, and thinks the screenplay is so derivative of those better films that it may have been written by an actual computer.
The whole film feels as if it's on autopilot, or maybe written by artificial intelligence that's been fed a steady diet of the Die Hard oeuvre, Speed, Das Boot, and, I'm guessing, The Towering Inferno. But like most AI facsimiles, this one can't come up with anything memorably human.
If you were hoping that Skyscraper was the next great action movie, it appears that isn't the case. It would seem that your enjoyment of the film may be dependant on your ability to enjoy the action without being bothered by a less than "rock" solid script. Skyscraper opens Friday.