Action! Adventure! Dwayne Johnson's impressive physique! All are things you've seen on a movie screen earlier this year, and here comes Skyscraper to offer another heaping helping of what Johnson and his team are cooking. Only this time, we're being given an adventure that's being sold as a 3D extravaganza - which is so daring, it could only come from a movie with The Rock as its lead. The folks behind the film have called down the thunder, and I'm here to deliver the boom, with this edition of To 3D or Not To 3D.
If you're looking to find out how much we enjoyed Skyscraper as a movie, head on over to our official review for the verdict. Otherwise, we're about to get third dimensional on the latest Die Hard inspired action adventure to hit theaters. Glasses on and game on, as we take the express elevator to the top of Skyscraper!
As interesting of a movie as Skyscraper is, it pretty much plays out like a standard action thriller. With that in mind, it's a decent fit for a 3D presentation, but not one that I'd put high up on the list of must-see eye poppers. Select sequences lend themselves to the format better, while a fair majority of this movie would have been just fine in 2D. If anything, Skyscraper lends itself to a large format presentation better than one of the 3D variety.
While Skyscraper isn't the perfect fit in 3D, there's certainly a lot of work and care that has gone into this presentation. For a film that takes place at night, with tons of smoke getting in the way, brightness is surprisingly a non-issue. While it may not be the most 3D ready film you'd expect, there are still some surprises when it comes to Skyscraper's third dimensional enhancements.
One of the most thrilling, and classically attended to, aspects of a 3D film is the amount of stuff the film is trying to throw out of the screen and into your face. In the particular case of Skyscraper, there are a couple of standout moments here and there that throw things like wrecked helicopters, shattered windows, and burning trees in your face. Other than a smattering of moments that decide to do so, there is not a lot that pokes out of the screen and into the theater.
In regard to 3D presentations, audiences tend to focus on what's being thrown out of the screen. However, there's another field that should be considered when looking at how good a film's third dimensional enhancements look: the depth of picture. Skyscraper takes better advantage of the beyond the window aspect of its visuals than it does the before the window category, as there's quite a bit of depth throughout the film's picture. Characters and their surroundings are properly separated with spatial reasoning, with a fair amount of depth portrayed throughout various environments.
Again, a film like Skyscraper would typically pose a lot of problems with the brightness factor. Putting on a pair of 3D glasses already dims the picture to a certain extent, and with theaters not always recalibrating or maintaining their projectors between 2D and 3D screenings, there's a little extra room for error in this field. But in another feat that bucks the odds, Skyscraper is pretty damned clear throughout the whole film. The film could have stood to be just a little bit brighter, but it's still extremely watchable.
Taking off your glasses during a 3D presentation does two things: it gives you a chance to rest your eyes, should you need it, and it lets you see how blurry the picture is. While it may seem like a cool side effect of 3D filmmaking, the blur can actually dictate just how well the picture is manipulated to create a three dimensional picture. While Skyscraper has a good compliment of blur where it counts, there's scenes where the blur isn't as well defined. This leaves some scenes looking practically 2D without the glasses on, which could explain some of the presentation's shortcomings.
If you thought you'd be heading into a world of eye-boggling hurt with Skyscraper, rest assured you'll be perfectly fine when all is said and done. The 3D presentation is smooth, with no eye strain or nausea to be had. There's a lot of action in this movie, and it's presented in such a way that it's not a taxing experience to sit for almost two hours watching it.