A building 225 stories tall is the prime setting for non-stop action in director Rawson Marshall Thurber latest film Skyscraper. Teaming up once again with his Central Intelligence star Dwayne Johnson, Thurber’s film is both familiar and unabashedly entertaining. Playing like a cross between The Towering Inferno and Die Hard, the plot revolves around a Marine vet and retired FBI Hostage team leader who must risk it all to save his family when the world’s tallest building, known as The Pearl, catches on fire.
After losing a leg when a mission goes wrong, amputee Will Sawyer (Johnson) now works as a security expert. Temporarily moving his family into The Pearl, he is hired to give the final sign off that the upper levels of the building are ready to open to the public. When Sawyer ventures to The Pearl’s offsite security center, international terrorist, Kores Botha (Roland Møller), manages to gain control of the building’s system and sets a fire in hopes of smoking out valuable information that entrepreneur Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), who designed the state-of-the-art structure, has in his possession.
Desperate to find his wife (Neve Campbell) and kids (McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell) inside the building, Sawyer must evade both local law enforcement and Botha’s team if he hopes to get in and out of the burning tower alive.
Skyscraper is the type of action film that does not bring much new to the genre from a narrative standpoint, but is still an enjoyable ride nonetheless. Thurber ensures that each major action sequence is comprised of several additional obstacles for the characters to overcome as well. In the case of Sawyer this means figuring out how to adapt his disability to each new challenge he faces. Never feeling like a gimmick, or making it the central focus, his disability is portrayed in a surprisingly natural and logical way. This ultimately helps to make the numerous action sequences more gripping than one would expect.
Arriving on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo Pack today courtesy of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Skyscraper is packed with a slew of bonus features. The most fascinating of which is “Inspiration” in which Johnson talks about his desire to portray individuals with disabilities, including their movements and the way they approach problems, in an accurate way. The featurette even finds Johnson showering praise on advisor Jeff Glasbrenner, who was the first amputee to climb Mount Everest.
Filled with plenty of thrilling action set pieces, Skyscraper is enjoyable experience despite its familiar design.
Deleted & Extended Scenes
Dwayne Johnson: Embodying a Hero
Friends No More
Kids in Action