Is there anything Dwayne Johnson can’t overcome? Earthquakes, tsunamis, oversized gorillas, Vin Diesel’s ego…the hulking man mountain has tackled them all and emerged victorious. For his latest spat with big screen-worthy roadblocks, the man no longer credited with his “Rock” moniker faces his biggest challenge yet – a skyscraper some three-times taller than the Statue of Liberty that’s been overtaken by a group of throwaway terrorists hellbent on burning it to the ground.
I could spend my time trying to decipher the specifics of the plot and just why lead terrorist Botha (Roland Møller) feels the need to plan such an elaborate scheme as the one he has concocted – something to do with the technology the designer of the titular skyscraper (named The Pearl) has created – or how our loveable Johnson’s Will Sawyer is the epitome of a family man but has former FBI training to justify the heroics he’ll partake in across the film’s 100 minute running time…but i’m not going to do that.
No, you come to see a movie like Skyscraper for the lunacy, for the ridiculous physic-defying stunts, for the snappy punch lines, for the obligatory Dwayne Johnson shirtless shot (complete with tribal tattoo *swoon*)…and it delivers in spades! If it isn’t Will scaling up a 90-storey crane in a matter of minutes, it’s him using the brute strength of his epic pecs to hold a broken bridge in place so that his wife (Neve Campbell, so unbelievably lovely to see on screen again) and son can crawl across. Yes, writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber (We’re The Millers, Central Intelligence) really pushes the whole “Dwayne Johnson is strong” thing to the limit, but who the hell cares when there’s such unbridled joy to be had whilst viewing so.
Of course, accepting such illogicality like much of what takes place throughout Skyscraper helps when the players on hand adhere to the stereotypes we’ve come to expect from the genre, and because Will is at once he-man and family man, his wife something of a badass, and his kids refreshingly void of annoyance (even the son having a typical plot device like asthma doesn’t irk), we embrace all that takes place on screen, even when we know where it’s going or that it is literally impossible.
As Johnson utters “this is stupid” just as he prepares to scale the side of the decaying building with nothing else but duct tape wrapped around his wrists so that he can cling to the windows, it feels like a perfect meta moment where our unstoppable man of the hour admits to what’s taking place. And yet, just as he follows through on his plan, we too continue to lap up all that Johnson and Skyscraper have left to offer.
Review Score: THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Skyscraper hits cinemas tomorrow, July 12th.