Directed By: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell, Hanna Quinlavin, Adrian Holmes, et. al.
Rated: PG-13
Grade: B-

After losing a leg while on a rescue mission with the U.S. Military, Will Sawyer starts a security consultation firm specializing in designing and testing the security measures of large buildings. When assisting with the security layout of the Pearl, Hong Kong’s tallest structure, Will runs into his friend and former unit member Ben, who was also injured in the incident that took Will’s leg. After a thief attempts to steal a tablet Will was given that contains access to the Pearl’s entire security layout, Will quickly learns that his former friend is working for people who want to infiltrate the Pearl and cause enough damage to have it evacuated. After making his way back to the building, Will realizes that the police aren’t going to attempt to rescue those still trapped in the building, including his wife and children, and so he decides to take on the thieves, and the burning building, himself to rescue his family and Mr. Zhao, the man who designed the building, and also try and figure out why the Pearl was targeted in the first place.

The latest in Dwayne Johnson’s resumé of disaster-related action movies could probably be interchanged with just about any of his other ones, or any disaster-related action movie for that matter, almost unnoticeably. About the only thing that truly sets this one apart is the fact that Johnson is playing an amputee, and does so in a way that is both believable and respectful to actual amputees. That said, the movie is still enjoyable on an entertainment value-level. Johnson always seems to look like he’s enjoying making these types of films, and it was nice to see Neve Campbell in something outside the Scream franchise again, though the fight-back skills she picked up while making them was put to use. She and Johnson have decent chemistry, and make a believable couple. The story may be a little far-fetched at times, but most action movies are.

The special effects are all very well done. It looks like they used mostly practical effects for the fire, with the exception of wide-angle and long distance shots. The background filler is seamless.

Action/disaster movies all make good popcorn flicks, and are a fun way to relax and not have to think for 90 minutes or so, and this one is no different. With lots of explosions and fight scenes, you can shut your brain off for a while and enjoy watching Dwayne Johnson kick the crap out of bad guys. As stated before, there’s not a lot of substance plot-wise, but it’s typical for most action movies, whose main goal is to get to the fights and explosions.

Skyscraper isn’t available to stream anywhere at the moment, but it can be rented from Redbox or Netflix home delivery service, or purchased from a participating store or on-line retailer.

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