Dwayne Johnson is back in full action form with his new film Skyscraper. In this film, Johnson plays Will Sawyer, a former FBI hostage rescue team leader who loses his leg after a rescue gone bad and who now runs a small security company. Will's former FBI buddy Ben gets him a job checking out the security system for the largest building in the world which is about to fully open in Hong Kong. Will and his wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) and their two young children make the journey to Hong Kong and get to stay in this high tech superstructure while Will finishes his security assessment. Of course, during the final phase of his work, the building is hijacked by a gang that wants something very specific from the owner of the building and is set on destroying this new structure. When the building starts to burn Will realizes not only has he been set up to be framed for this act, but also his family is still inside as it starts to burn. On a mission to save his family and clear his name, Will goes full action star mode in an effort to save his family.
So just to be clear I kept my expectations pretty low for this film. Watching the trailer made me think this was some sort of bizarre San Andres spin-off because it just has that same feel to it. This is hardly Dwayne Johnson's first film in action genre. This movie, while packed with plenty of action is just a little too over the top for me. It is watchable, but I spent way too much time thinking, seriously, there is no way that should work. At the beginning of the film, we see Will Sawyer almost get his entire Hostage rescue team killed when he makes a bad call and as a result, he loses his leg from the mid-thigh down. So now we are seeing The Rock doing all his usual stunts, but also keeping in the back of your mind that one of his legs is not real and it gets used a lot in the plot of the film. For example, I need someone to tell me what every piece of those legs are made of because I don't know that I believe that they are like a swiss army knife in these situations. It can stop 7in thick titanium security doors from closing. It can hold the weight of Dwayne Johnson as he is dangling from a burning building 240 floors up. But despite being able to hold his weight when he needs it too, it does seem to pop off relatively easily at the worst possible moments. It was just one thing that kept getting to me. And while I do think it is important to show people with disabilities on the big screen in leading roles, I feel like maybe they could have taken this in another direction and made it just a tad more believable. It is almost like in cartoons when the characters run off the side of a cliff and don't fall until they finally look down and realize the ground is gone. This just needs some work for me. Aside from that, everything else the rock contributes to this film is pretty much what you have come to expect from him as an action star. There are plenty of over the top stunts and him beating bad guy ass throughout the film. What I really want to talk about is Neve Campbell. She is back in a feature film playing Will's wife and she is hands down my favorite thing in this movie. Mostly because despite her superhero-like husband, she is also a former military surgeon and is kind of a badass herself. She would have made this movie 600 times better by being in it more. She can fight and she isn't portrayed as some incompetent woman who needs saving (despite letting her husband "fix" all her electronics for her). She is just a strong character that feels way underutilized. Neve, we love you and please make more action movies.
Overall, despite Neve's awesomeness, we still had to score this movie with a C. You know where this film is headed and you are getting the business, as usual, acting from Dwayne Johnson, which isn't bad, but I have seen it before. The story is over the top and at times a stretch to believe. If you are looking for easy action with not much else to it, then you probably won't be disappointed here. We were still hoping for more, but this one came up short for us.
Check out Skyscraper for yourself when it opens this weekend in theaters everywhere!