Rock, Fire, Duct Tape (Skyscraper review)

If you’ve seen the poster for this film, then you already know it’s going to be ridiculous. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is back, in my mind the best A-List star to make B-List films, and this time he’s climbing a burning skyscraper to save his family and uncover a plot to destroy the building.

Dwayne Johnson has managed to set his career up so successfully to the point where the audience will always cheer for him, no matter how ridiculous the premise. His first film of 2018, ‘Rampage’, was horrendously bad but I still enjoyed watching it. The same is true here, though it must be said that Skyscraper is a better film (not by much distance however).nrB9zT5

The story of the film is that Dwayne (playing an ex-soldier amputee) is saving his family from a burning skyscraper after they are trapped there by terrorists. If that sounds mighty similar to Die Hard, then you’re not mistaken, and there are clearly many similarities between the two (to the point where this poster has been made).

The set pieces in the film are ridiculous, from death defying jumps, to jumping through fans, and the most ridiculous use of duct-tape I have ever seen (think Mission: Impossible’s ‘Burj Khalifa’ stunt, but with sticky tape). The script is very shoddy and is littered with camp one liners (including “if you can’t fix it with duct-tape, you’re not using enough duct-tape”. Honestly, this film has a serious duct-tape fetish). The characters have exposition crammed into any monologue possible to try and justify their actions, and the villains, yet again, are caricatured Europeans with no stand out quality.

And yet, above all that, The Rock’s winning formula makes this film totally work. You allow yourself to be swept away with the utterly horrendous one liners, you get tense at the stunts and you genuinely feel for Dwayne’s character. I’m not saying for a minute the film is a good film, but if you want to switch off with a film that looks nice, has no deep meaning and makes you laugh (whether you’re laughing with it or at it) then Skyscraper is the one for you.

6 Stars

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