Summer movie season is in full swing and we have really been salivating for a big action disaster film. Never fear, fans of beating the heat in your local multiplex, “Skyscraper” is here to give you an action fix.
This movie starts fast and refuses to tap the brakes throughout. Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) runs his own security firm. A friend put in a good word and Sawyer is soon investigating a new building in Hong Kong, the world's largest. If they get his seal of approval on the various fire and security systems, they'll be able to open the rest of the building to the public. But sinister forces are at work behind the scenes.
Sawyer has one last area to check before he signs off on the project, but that gets compromised and fire breaks out at the building. The fire was intentionally set, but our bad guys didn't count on Sawyer's wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and children still being in the building.
Nothing can compare to a parent's motivation to protect their family. Sawyer works to get back into the building while Sarah ferociously protects the kids while inside. It will take all the ingenuity the pair have to save both children and themselves.
I need to say this up front — this movie is crazy ridiculous, but I still dug it. OK, so let me explain.
Plot points and even some dialogue are laughable. Johnson plays a character who feels like MacGyver with muscles (and duct tape). And he continuously does the unthinkable. Interactions bring about a chuckle and will make you wonder what you are watching.
That said, I found myself smiling, in a good way. Because of Johnson and Campbell's personalities along with some wild action sequences, I really enjoyed the film. I don't believe a bit of what went on, but for a check-your-mind-at-the-door, devour-a-giant-bucket-of-popcorn summer movie, it works.
“Skyscraper” begs to be seen on the biggest screen possible, if just to see how big Johnson's muscles look. The setting is enormous and some of the best parts of the film are when the entire screen is filled with explosions, gunfire or raging flames.
We haven't seen a full-scale disaster film in this setting in quite some time. Perhaps with some of the unrealistic action in the film, it keeps from being too close to home for those who have suffered through some of the tragedy in the world. The lightness of dialogue keeps the film from ever feeling too serious.
Despite much of a lack of realism, “Skyscraper” does one thing very well: It entertains. With the charismatic Johnson, the effervescent Campbell and explosive action, “Skyscraper” is a welcome addition to the summer movie season. It may not be realistic, but it does entertain. Now if someone could just deliver my refill on the popcorn bucket to my seat, I'll keep munching away here with a smile on my face.
Paul's Grade: B-
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber