Skyscraper is a new action film written, co-produced, and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber starring Dwayne Johnson as a former FBI agent who must rescue his family from a newly built skyscraper–the tallest in the world–after it is taken over by terrorists.
“I made a movie that pays homage to films that inspired me & a generation w/ grit, guts and heart – Die Hard, The Towering Inferno and The Fugitive.” says Johnson.
His character, a former FBI agent and amputee Will lives in the tallest and “safest” skyscraper in Hong Kong with his family. The skyscraper itself, known as “The Pearl” houses several floors that function as their own society and despite the risks highlighted by Sawyer, who is the building’s head of security, his bosses insist that it is impenetrable. True to Sawyer’s belief, the building comes under attack by terrorists, forcing Sawyer to take action. Matters are complicated further when he finds his family trapped above the resulting fire line.
“It’s clearly a good year for superheroes,” says director Rawson Marshall Thurber. “But I think that’s what’s so interesting about Skyscraper, is that it isn’t about a superhero. We have sequels on either side of us — we have 11 sequels in sort of a five-week corridor — and we’re the only original picture there. And we’re the only picture that doesn’t really have a superhero at its center when you talk about these big tentpoles. And I’m really proud of that. And they don’t really make these movies anymore. Skyscraper is like the kind of movie I grew up watching: Die Hard, Towering Inferno, The Fugitive. I don’t know, I guess it’s my love letter to those movies.”
The cast consists of Dwayne Johnson as Will Sawyer, a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and amputee, who now assesses security for skyscrapers; Neve Campbell as Sarah Sawyer, Will’s wife; Chin Han as Zhao Min Zhi, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann as Inspector Wu, Pablo Schreiber, Hannah Quinlivan, Jason Day as Gunman 1; Kevin Rankin as Ray; Tzi Ma as Fire Chief; Elfina Luk as Sergeant Han; and one of my favorite actors, Adrian Holmes as Ajani Okeke. It’s really good to see Adrian Holmes on the big screen; I have been a fan of his work in Canadian television for many years and he has been in almost any sci-fi show you can name.
Filming began in September 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Legendary Pictures, Perfect World Pictures, Flynn Picture Company and Seven Bucks Productions collaborated to bring the 102 minute long, $125 million film, rated PG-13 (for sequences of gun violence and action, and for brief strong language) to be released in the United States by Universal Pictures on July 13, 2018 in 2D and 3D, but not in IMAX.
The Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus: 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. “A cheerfully derivative and hugely enjoyable piece of entertainment,” says Rafer Guzman, Newsday. “It might look like The Rock versus The Towering Inferno from its ticket-selling poster, yet Dwayne Johnson’s latest FX-driven action flick is a terrifically entertaining, exciting 21st-century matinee movie with a genuinely progressive innovation,” says Jim Schembri, 3AW.
Should the kids see The Rock in this kick-butt role? Check out this Skyscraper Movie Review | Safe for Kids? – breakdown of that PG-13 rating from a parent point of view, thoughts on the plot line and of course, no spoilers. Christie, a Korean mom to two beloved “whasians,” says this about the film (This post is sponsored by Universal Pictures.):
But before you grab your kids to see Skyscraper, let’s chat about that PG-13 rating. Violence is going to be the biggest factor of this film and begins right at the opening scene. Real, lifelike, up close and bloody gun violence. It’s throughout the film, from machine guns to close hand-to-hand combat. Keep in mind the close kill shots, choke holds and unmerciful deaths pile up quickly – perhaps a little too real for littles. And the suspense is just that – had me jumping out of my chair often, and I knew it was coming.
While the rating suggests “mild language,” I counted at least 3 sh*t uses (including one subtitled in Chinese) and one F-bomb. I actually would have potentially considered my son before the very obvious F-bomb drop. So all of that considered, I would definitely keep this at a mature 11-12 year old range. I won’t be bringing my 5-year old daughter or 9-year old son to see this one. But when we pull out Die Hard for them to watch in about 10 years, Skyscraper may soon follow.
If we look deeper at this film, you’ll see how a man with a disability can overcome even the greatest obstacles for his family, how a woman can hold her own, and how a multicultural family can be “normal.” And oh yeah, let’s not forget explosions, effects, action, suspense, and even some sidecars of funny one-liners too. But before you count this as a movie for just men, a half-naked Rock isn’t too bad either. Am I right, ladies?
Skyscraper is the summer blockbuster that will have your friends talking either way. So go see it. But maybe leave the little ones at home, mmkay?