There are a few instances in life in which the movie Skyscraper is an ok movie to watch. When you’re entering your sixth hour in an intercontinental flight, for example, and your brain has degenerated to a vegetative state. Or, like right now, when I have had four hours of sleep after a particularly heavy birthday party, and I can’t fall asleep again and my brain is too numb to focus on anything. The point is that you need to sync your brain to this movie by disabling your critical and rational faculties. Perhaps you’ve heard it said that only a message from the heart can reach another heart. Likewise, a movie from imbecility…
This Die Hard knock-off has been upgraded for the Hollywood of the 2010s, which means that the skyscraper is now a computer generated skyscraper, because then we can show more special effects later on in the movie. This works like a rule, call it Jeroen’s Law, where one computer-generated effect leads to the existence of another computer-generated effect farther into the movie. A CGI skyscraper therefore leads to a cascade of dozens of CGI effects related to either the awesomeness or destruction of this skyscraper. The consequence being an explosion of dumbness and an explosion of violations of our suspension of disbelief.
The first 15 minutes firmly establish what is important in this movie: this skyscraper has an awesome top floor where the climax will surely take place, which shall involve prodigious use of green screen acting, Dwayne Johnson is a likable family man, and this movie has an eye focused on the Chinese market. A great flaw is also immediately apparent: there is no memorable villain. All we get are random European though guys and an Asian kung-fu woman and they’re all complete cardboard cutouts.
And I am very sorry to say that for all the millions of dollars that have been pumped into this, the only thing this movie will be remembered for is Dwayne Johnson doing a physically impossible jump between a crane and a burning skyscraper. That is how bad use of special effects tarnishes the legacy of your movie. And there is nothing else to this movie but special effects. Say what you want about Die Hard but we remember John McClane and Hans Gruber. Dwayne, or the scriptwriters, are giving us nothing in terms of character. Absolutely nothing. Dwayne hardly talks at all; he just goes through the motions.
And I am also very sorry to say that Dwayne Johnson is turning into Gerard Butler. They are following the same career paths, like they’re doing an act-off to see who can star in the most low-brow action movies. In an alternative timeline, Butler would have starred in this and in Rampage (2018), and Johnson would have starred in Geostorm (2017) and London has Fallen (2016).
So, even with my brain switched off the movie was hard to watch. It just lacks substance and there is nothing interesting to keep your attention.