James Cole Clay has been working as a film critic for the better part of a decade covering new releases, blu ray reviews and the occasional drive-in cult classic. His writing is dedicated to discovering social politics through diverse voices, primarily focusing on Women In Film and LGBTQ cinema.
James Cole Clay // Film Critic
There’s a line in SKYSCRAPER where the titular “skyscraper,” Dwayne Johnson, says to his fearful son in a burning building, “You can’t be brave, if you’re not scared.” Well, first thing, it’s super sweet, but that’s not grammatically correct. Second thing: Dwayne, I’m terrified to tell you, I straight up think this is the mediocre movie of the year. However, I have seen RAMPAGE twice. So, please don’t curse me too hard, “Dwayniacs”
I reviewed the movie back in July of this year, and it’s disappointing to see an actor who vehemently panders to his audience. Johnson has all the charisma he needs to “punch” tickets, but it’s as if SKYSCRAPER is trying to trick the audience into believing it’s a hard hitting action film. See my theatrical review here. This one is perfect for the Sunday afternoon “Dads who like movies” programming block.
If you’re wondering what SKYSCRAPER is all about, here’s a synopsis from our review:
“Will Sawyer (Johnson) is a former FBI rescue team leader who now owns a small security analytics company after getting his leg blown off 10 years prior. He’s in Hong Kong on a job with his wife, Sarah (Neve Campbell), and their twin children, Georgia (McKenna Roberts) and Henry (Noah Cottrell). The job in question isn’t any job; he’s hired by billionaire Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han) as security detail on the world’s tallest and state-of-the-art building, the Pearl — which stands 220 stories high. The film doesn’t take long to introduce a terrorist (Roland Moller) and his group of elite henchman who have been recruited across the world’s top crime syndicates. Fast forward a bit, the building is on fire and Sawyer’s family is stuck on the 96th floor of the burning building. He’s only going one direction… UP! “
Special Features: The features here are pretty self explanatory. They’re essentially 3-5 minute featurettes about the making of the film. But let’s dive a little deeper.
Dwayne Johnson: Embodying A Hero: A classic example of the braggadocios flare that made Johnson the highest paid actor in Hollywood since Sylvester Stallone starred in OVER THE TOP. For the majority of America, he embodies the “’You can do it!’ Coach” mentality that has a nice double for the American spirit and, to be honest, his charisma is a bit intoxicating. The best thing about DJ is he knows how to be just edgy enough to appeal to marines and grandmothers alike, and something about that is just kinda cool.
Pineapple Pitch: This involves a director, an idea, Dwayne Johnson, a middle finger and a pineapple. This is actually one of the few heartwarming tales in Hollywood. It shows the power Johnson has to put a smile on the face of pretty much anybody he meets. At only 96 seconds, this is easily the best snippet on the disc.
Inspiration: No jokes here. In the film, Johnson plays a leg amputee, and it’s easy to see why so many differently abled individuals were inspired by this choice. Johnson goes into detail about how he consciously had to change how he walked and moved in every frame of the film. Plus, there is a lovely speech by Johnson’s movement consultant in the film. They didn’t have to go the extra mile here, and they did.
Opposing Forces: This is apparently about how shocked the crew was that Neve Campbell can hold her own on an action set? I can’t believe I’m having to say this but, Campbell was kicking ass in SCREAM when Johnson was shirtless and wearing undies in the WWE. Stay in your lane, SKYSCRAPER.
Kids in Action: 2 minutes on how the casting department found two kids who looked like a mix of Neve Campbell and Dwayne Johnson. Really?
Friends No More: Spoiler alert: Big man Pablo Schrieber takes on Johnson for an extended fight sequence. The choreography is fairly pedestrian, but the highlight is that each of these guys throw some slight shade at Vin Diesel’s height.
SKYSCRAPER is available on Digital and Blu-ray today.