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Movie Review Mondays: Skyscraper

Updated: Apr 17

This picture is from the movie poster for the movie Skyscraper. Dwayne Johnson's character, Will Sawyer, is clinging to the edge of a 220 floor skyscraper trying to get in to save his family. The picture for the movie poster is derived from a real scene in the movie.

This week's movie I'm writing about is Skyscraper, one of many Dwayne Johnson movies that I love, and as crazy as it sounds, it probably tops Die Hard. The kind of stunts that he did are things that not even John McClane did in the first 3. For this one, the cinematic quality and the plot could not have been better in my opinion, and knowing that this was made in 2018 is crazy, because too much of Hollywood lacks the creativity to make individual movies like this. This movie was also good enough that I would be happy enough if they franchised it.

The plot is that Will Sawyer, (Dwayne Johnson), is a retired FBI agent turned security consultant. He and his family are staying in Zhao Long Ji's brand new multi purposed skyscraper in China, and it is over a mile tall. Unbeknownst to him, his colleague, Ben Gillespie, goes behind his back to orchestrate an act of terrorism against the building, not knowing that Sawyer's family is still inside. Despite the advanced technologically built in safety measures, the fire starts raging from the 96th floor upwards. Will Sawyer climbs a crane, and makes it to the top, and from there jumps into a shattered hole in the building where there was glass. He is able to get his wife and son to safety by helping them get to the bottom of the building, but his daughter got separated from them and the terrorists take her hostage. He manages to get ahold of the terrorists, and kills the one holding his daughter hostage. Meanwhile, he is mobbed by Chinese reporters who were covering the skyscraper fire from the ground. As the movie ends, Zhao tells Sawyer that he will simply rebuild the skyscraper to be stronger and better than before.

One of the many things that I noticed in this movie is that, unlike some action movies, it didn't fall into the trap of repetitiveness. Instead, the movie left the audience wondering whether Sawyer would survive any of the crazy stunts that he did, whether it was jumping from a crane into the opening in the skyscraper, or walking alongside the edge of the building to get to a vent, or that he cut the elevator cable to allow his wife and son to get to safety. There was hardly a time in the movie where I wasn't sweating or on the edge of my seat from uncertainty. It may be due to my own fear of heights, and fear of falling, but we can talk about that another time.

In times of crisis, we really find out who individuals are, and we found out just how much Will Sawyer went to great lengths to save his family. He was on the ground, and he could've stayed there and waited for Hong Kong police to save them, but he climbed a crane and risked everything for what he loved. The movie made it very clear from the beginning that he would do anything for his family, and I've never seen such a heroic series of events from any protagonist in any action movie. He had every chance to back out, but he chose to be a hero, and it was never more clear than during his final attempt to rescue his daughter, when he said to Zhao "Her life is more important that mine. We're going in."

The fact that Dwayne Johnson did most of his own stunts during this movie is crazy as well. Even for a man of his physical ability, I still would have my doubts if I was directing. The movie's CGI also worked very well, and I thought that it was cool that they used actual fire for the burning bridge scene. It is hard not to grade this movie an A across the board, but I'll still give my marks for each of the most important metrics in my opinion.

Cinematography: A Stunts: A+ Acting: A Plot: A

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