‘Skyscraper’ Review: The Rock’s Latest Is The Height of Absurd Entertainment

Adam Salandra
Movie Reviews Movies
Movie Reviews Movies
3.5
of 5
Review Essentials
  • Over-the-top, non-stop action
  • Predictable and ridiculous at times
  • Neve Campbell shines
  • Implausible blockbuster fun

You may think you’ve seen Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fight his way out of every sort of sticky situation imaginable. But until you’ve seen him leap from a construction crane into an open window 100 stories above the city in Skyscraper, you thought wrong.

This is just one of many insane moments in the actor’s new action thriller, but every ridiculous scene is luckily also ridiculously entertaining.

Johnson stars as Will Sawyer, a security consultant who will do whatever it takes to save his wife and two children from the burning 240-foot skyscraper that they’re trapped in. And if the odds weren’t already stacked against him enough, he also has a prosthetic leg. But that can’t stop The Rock. Apparently, nothing can.

The Action Is Over The Top

Dwayne Johnson in 'Skyscraper'
Dwayne Johnson in 'Skyscraper'

First of all, the building was set ablaze by terrorists attempting to steal a flash drive from the billionaire owner’s penthouse. Meanwhile, cops think Sawyer was the one responsible for the fire. That all means that Johnson is fighting a heck of a lot more than the flames in order to get his family to safety.

The physical altercations the actor gets into are violent and intense, including a scene in which he has a shockingly brutal fight with his prosthetic leg torn off. But no amount of hopping can stop Johnson from throwing villains into television sets.

The other major antagonist in the film, however, is gravity itself, and anyone even remotely scared of heights will lose their breath several times throughout the experience. Seeing Johnson hang by his fingertips from a window ledge or leap in the air from the aforementioned construction crane is all over-the-top and implausible. But if you’re skilled at suspending disbelief, then you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat at every turn.

Neve Campbell Shines

Neve Campbell and Noah Cottrell in 'Skyscraper'
Neve Campbell and Noah Cottrell in 'Skyscraper'

When Neve Campbell first appears in the movie as Johnson’s devoted wife, we assume that the actress will go to waste in scenes that find her scared in a corner waiting to be rescued. Thankfully, this was far from the case.

The actress’ welcomed return to the big screen finds her actually being used to the best of her abilities, having her involved in action sequences and terrorist fights on her own. And for fans of Campbell’s work in Scream, it’s thrilling to see her familiar frightened face back on our screens.

While Johnson obviously does the heavy lifting (or skyscraper jumping, as it were), director Rawson M. Thurber manages to infuse the action film with touches of girl power. Even Sawyer’s young daughter lets an adult know at one point that she is not a princess. She is a queen.

So is Skyscraper Good?

Dwayne Johnson in 'Skyscraper'
Dwayne Johnson in 'Skyscraper'

To answer this question, you have to first ask yourself why you’re watching the movie in the first place. If you’re looking for an ounce of realism or plausibility, you’re honestly better off watching a summer blockbuster featuring dinosaurs or superheroes. But if you’re simply going to escape into an edge-of-your-seat action world, then you’ll get your money’s worth, to say the least.

There’s plenty to distract you from the unbelievable stunts anyway. For starters, Johnson’s ability to engage viewers is an imperative piece of the puzzle. Without him, the audience may be forced to think too hard about how impossible any of these action scenes would actually be in real life. But with The Rock, we know anything is possible.

The fast pacing is another aspect of the film that helps distract us from thinking too much about how nothing we’re seeing is even remotely based in reality. Things move so quickly you’ll have no opportunities for a snack or restroom break for fear of missing the next out-of-control moment.

Overall, the movie is predictable at times and ridiculous at others, but it’s always entertaining. Skyscraper is absolute insanity, but in the best possible way.

Adam Salandra
Adam Salandra is an Entertainment Editor for FANDOM. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog pup or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
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