Skyscraper hardly reaches new heights in terms of writing or acting, but The Rock's stunts are as awesome as ever [Review]

Skyscraper hardly reaches new heights in terms of writing or acting, but The Rock's stunts are as awesome as ever [Review]

If you love Dwayne Johnson, reality-defying stunts, and seeing Hong Kong on the big screen, you won't be disappointed


'Hang on' takes on a more important meaning here for The Rock in Skyscraper.
Photo: Universal Pictures Hong Kong

The appropriately named Skyscraper is a film about the tallest building in the world, which happens to be in Hong Kong. Dwayne Johnson plays Will Sawyer, an FBI agent-turned-security assessor who finds himself in a bind when the building he’s working on catches fire. This stunt-heavy action film is packed with fight scenes, marvellous spectacle, and plenty of moments that will get your heart racing.

Johnson’s character is a retired hostage rescue team leader, who is now happily married to Sarah (Neve Campbell), and has two children. His new job brings him to the new superstructure, The Pearl, where he is tasked with testing its security and safety measures. When the skyscraper is suddenly set ablaze, he finds himself being blamed for the incident - and learns that his family is trapped inside the burning building.

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The film is stunningly shot, and takes full advantage of the opportunity to highlight Hong Kong in all its glory (even if the giant fake building slightly distracts you from the skyline). Anyone who lives in the city will appreciate the small tributes paid to the 852, such as shots of the Star Ferry, and the tasteful use of Cantonese swear words.

The acting is above average, although nothing really stands out; the cast aren’t helped by the slightly clunky script, which makes it hard to understand the dynamic between Johnson’s and Campbell’s characters. But the actors do well with what they have been given, and there is enough emotion and back story to allow you to feel attached to the family and concerned for their safety.

The score was slightly lacklustre, although at several points it manages to raise the heart rate of anyone watching. Speaking of which, the stunts are very much the focus here, and are absolutely incredible, visually. The trouble is the lack of consequences: they get to a point where they are so excessive, you are no longer worried about the characters, which somewhat takes away from the experience.

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Skyscraper is typical summer blockbuster fodder. If you enjoy stunts, The Rock, views of Hong Kong or well-choreographed fight scenes, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re here for waves of emotion with Oscar-worthy acting and an unpredictable storyline, you probably will be - but that’s not what this movie is about. And if you are scared of heights, it is probably best to steer clear. Unless you’re a real glutton for punishment.

Edited by Karly Cox

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