“This is stupid.” That’s the line that Dwayne Johnson’s lead character says just before he scales the side of a 225 story building, with nothing but duct tape around his hands, and a rope connecting his waist to a statue that is wedged against a broken window. Yes, Dwayne… this is very stupid. As summer seems keen on showing us at least a few times a year, there’s a fine line between a movie being “So Bad, It’s Good” and being completely unwatchable.
Johnson plays Will Sawyer, a former FBI agent who runs a small security company after losing his leg on a mission. His company gets its big break when a former partner (Pablo Schreiber) recommends his expertise in performing analysis on the newly built, largest skyscraper in the world. But after a terrorist (Roland Møller) and his minions break into the building to kidnap its creator (Chin Han), Sawyer finds himself attempting to scale the tower to rescue his wife (Neve Campbell) and children from inside.
You can’t go halfway on the ridiculous. If you’re going to have a movie where a guy with one leg can jump from a construction rig to the edge of a broken window and survive with barely a scratch, then don’t undermine that with serious stakes and an abundance of straight laced characters. Johnson has been gold on the big screen as both a serious and comedic tough guy. He tries his best to create the right balance in this movie by delivering a few 90’s style quips here and there. But most of the humor comes from things that probably aren’t meant to be funny… like plot holes, dumb character decisions, and bad CGI.
This movie is clearly marketed to those who’d pay $10 to see Dwayne Johnson open pickle jars for 2 hours. The only thing other than Johnson that makes Skyscraper remotely watchable is the occasional 3D effects that accentuate the feeling of Acrophobia. But, the movie does little to create unique personalities for any character involved, including Johnson’s, and the story is predictable. So unless you’re a huge fan, the entire experience is a ludicrous bore that will invoke more eye rolls than actual thrills.
FINAL GRADE: D