FILM REVIEW: Skyscraper

It has been 30 years since seminal action film Die Hard hit screens.

That’s 30 years of every action movie since trying to replicate that perfect balance of edge-of-your-seat fight scenes, explosions, quippy one-liners and memorable villains.

We’ve had Air Force One (Die Hard on a plane), Under Siege (Die Hard on a submarine) and White House Down (Die Hard at the White House).

Now, we have Skyscraper, which is Die Hard... in an even taller building?

The new blockbuster’s bald-headed lead is not Bruce Willis but Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, a man seemingly in every huge movie of the last five years.

He plays Will Sawyer, a former soldier who is now working as a security consultant for the owner of the world’s tallest building – the Pearl.

Just as Sawyer gives the building the green tick to be opened, a terrorist group sets fire to one of the floors and shuts off the Pearl’s anti-fire measures on all floors above it.

Sawyer’s wife and two kids are still in the building, above the fire, while he is on the ground, looking on.

So, naturally, he scales a crane to gain access to the Pearl.

Not Die Hard: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Neve Campbell star in the frustratingly unoriginal and silly action film Skyscraper, rated M, in cinemas now.

Not Die Hard: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Neve Campbell star in the frustratingly unoriginal and silly action film Skyscraper, rated M, in cinemas now.

There are so many moments within Skyscraper which are clearly taken directly from Die Hard, but not executed nearly as well.

The villain has nothing on Hans Gruber, the motivation for the attack is less exciting and Johnson is such a beast of a man that all his adversaries seem insignificant.

The whole film is ridiculous and defies all rules of physics. This wouldn’t be so bad if it seemed like the movie was in on the joke, but, unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Every one-liner and joke in the film feels forced and out of sync with the tone.

Anyone who has any trouble suspending their disbelief will hate Skyscraper with a passion.

Some of the action beats make the bus jump in Speed look not only plausible but downright achievable.

But if you’re willing to check your brain at the door and mindlessly watch things explode and people bash each other up – which is sometimes just what you need – then, sure, give Skyscraper a go.

Rating: 5/10

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