Dwayne Johnson has been derided as a one-trick pony as he is usually seen in big action blockbusters. But he is undeniably talented and has decent range. Also, he has delivered the goods (read money for the studios) time and time again and his films are always family-friendly and escapist.
His latest outing Skyscraper seems to be the typical visuals-driven summer caper that you can watch without taxing your brain. In the film, Johnson is a US war veteran who has to save his family stranded inside the tallest skyscraper in the world. The reviews are mostly mixed, with unfavourable comparisons to Bruce Willis’ Die Hard. It holds a 51% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus goes, “Well-cast yet derivative, Skyscraper isn’t exactly a towering action thriller feat, but it’s solidly constructed enough to stand among the genre’s more mildly diverting features.”
Boston Globe’s Ty Burr writes, “For all the crude but irresistible suspense-mongering — and points for allowing Campbell’s Mrs. Hero to get her action licks in — “Skyscraper” is let down by its dialogue and characters. Johnson doesn’t do wisecracks, but writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber hasn’t come up with anything interesting with which to replace them — the best he can muster are some shout-outs to the usefulness of duct tape — and the script is as boilerplate as the film’s title.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern chooses to focus on the fact that Dwayne Johnson has the ability to make tame scripts look interesting. He writes, “The movie is great, outlandish fun because the star makes it so; he’s a soft soul in an action-hard body.”
The Observer’s Wendy Ide concurs. “Dwayne Johnson stars as the most badass amputee since Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, in the movie mashup you never knew you wanted (but trust me, you do). Skyscraper is Die Hard meets The Towering Inferno (High Hard, if you will), and it’s pretty much everything you could want from a big, dumb, muscle-bound summer action flick.”
The Globe and Mail’s Brad Wheeler is of the opinion that even as a summer escapist movie, Skyscraper is silly. He writes, “Skyscraper itself defies gravity – and plain sense, and humour, and self-awareness, and most things even a dumb, hot-buttered blockbuster would have even a little of. Part Die Hard, part The Towering Inferno, even as a noisy slab of summer escapism Skyscraper survives no building inspection.”
In India, Skyscraper releases on July 20.