Do you remember the last time you played with your action figures? Remember those times when you would put them in awfully compromised situations that every bit of impossibility was taken away? Well, I had those brought back recently. My friend joined me for United International Pictures’ Press Screening of Dwayne Johnson’s film, Skyscraper at the newly-minted Cinema 7 of SM Mall of Asia. Our thoughts ran wild after the movie and that inspired me to put this different attack on my movie reviews. Are you ready, Bingers? Here are the six stages of watching Skyscraper.
The movie started with a fairly fresh premise: a Chinese tycoon building a massive property that aimed to be the greatest. And yes, that was sarcasm. How many times have we seen this plot before? Countless. To a point that resonated a hint of Chinese Propaganda. But hey, to be fair, the skyscraper in question, called The Pearl is a feat! Standing tall at over 200 floors and easily defeating the Burj-Al Khalifa, it deserved the title to be the greatest. Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) and his family were invited to The Pearl to assess the building’s security. After a quick introduction of characters and the plot, the audiences were taken for a shock with a sudden conflict. Is that bad? Not really but it leads us to our second stage…
Easy. Done. The acceleration of the plot could have been its strength but the development was taken away by an unfortunately predictable twist. At first, I was in denial that that just happened but it was just the beginning. And now all I have is…
Prior to seeing the movie, I barely paid attention to its promotional materials- trailers, interviews, and all that. I wanted to see it with a clean slate. After all, it stars Dwayne Johnson and I LOVED his recent film, Rampage. I assumed that tactic will also work on this one. I may have spoken too soon because I was wrong. The first strike- the predictability- was just the beginning. What came after were a series of decisions, characters, and plots, that either didn’t make sense or are plain dumb. That frustrated me because a.) I wanted it to succeed; and b.) I hoped more from Dwayne Johnson!
As the movie progressed, there was a faint glimmer of hope that things would take a sharp turn and redeem the disastrous first part of the movie. To an extent, it did! Skyscraper had The Rock performing some over-the-top sequences! Do you still remember that scene from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol where Ethan Hunt dangled outside the Burj-Al? The movie topped it off with a rope and the magical duct tape. I would be lying if I will say that that did not excite me and left me with sweaty palms. The cinema gasped a lot as well!
The excitement died down right away. Add some stereotypical villain and cliché lines, my face shifted from a smile to frown then to frustration. At this point, I totally gave up on the film finding a solid footing and finding its tone. It was a disaster all throughout.
Toward the end of the film, I came to a realization that Skyscraper is THAT movie. It is your typical popcorn flick- explosive, dumb, and glossy. There’s no doubt it took a page off of Michael Bay’s book of filmmaking. Ignore the plot, forget about the laws of Physics, discard every bit of common sense, give it the highest benefit of the doubt, and simply enjoy the ride!
This thought may have arrived a little late for me but at least I still got some good laughs out of the movie. After all, not every movie has to require some thinking. See Skyscraper and embrace its quirks and ridiculousness as it did and you’ll sure be up for some hearty laughter. My early frustrations with the movie ended with acceptance that I found myself saying, “God, this movie is so stupid. I love it!!”
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han
Binge-level: 2.5 out of 5 stars