Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On SKYSCRAPER Starring Dwayne Johnson
Global icon Dwayne Johnson leads the cast of Legendary's Skyscraper as former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Ford, who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in China he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he's been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who is trapped inside the building...above the fire line.
Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, We're the Millers), the 3D action-thriller is produced by Beau Flynn (San Andreas, Baywatch), Johnson, Thurber and Hiram Garcia (San Andreas, Central Intelligence).
Skyscraper's executive producers are Dany Garcia (Baywatch, Ballers), Wendy Jacobson (San Andreas), Eric Hedayat (The Great Wall, Real Steel) and Eric McLeod (Kong: Skull Island, Pirates of the Caribbean series). The film will be released by Universal Pictures.
Skyscraper is in theaters July 13th. Check out what the critics are saying below:
John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter: "Only a scholar of schlock would know, but it's possible that no other film has made such frequent and ridiculous use of the device in which a character falls from something very tall but catches himself at the last possible moment in a completely impossible way. Will is barely inside that hole in the building before he's finding far-fetched reasons to go back to its exterior. (And as stupid as things get out there, you gotta love the guy's faith that duct tape will keep him from flying off the 98th-floor ledge.)"
Matt Goldberg, Collider: "The Die Hard comparisons are inevitable, and sadly, they constantly work against Skyscraper. Sawyer can't be an everyman hero like McClane because Bruce Willis, especially in the original Die Hard, doesn't have the physique of someone like Johnson. Johnson is a superman of sorts, and that's why we love him in the physics-breaking world of the Fast & Furious movies. But if you cast him as "Normal Joe with a Military Background" in Skyscraper, the situation doesn't feel as desperate. You can kick the crap out of him, but he's still built like Dwayne Johnson, so there's not as much of an impact, especially in a PG-13 setting (although there are certainly some brutal, bloodless kills in the film). The movie is at its best when Johnson can do some feat of strength like holding a bridge together through sheer brawn."
David Edelstein, Vulture: "In Skyscraper, written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, he's playing Will Sawyer, a former Gold Star Marine and FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader turned cybersecurity genius who has pledged never to handle a gun since the face-off with a murderously despondent father that cost him his leg. The explosion, though wreaking havoc on many men, women, and children, was a blessing in that it introduced him to his wife, Sarah, a Navy surgeon who happened to major in East Asian Studies at Annapolis, which proves handy in a film set entirely in Hong Kong. (Sarah is played by Neve Campbell, though one person I know thought she was Jennifer Garner while another was sure she was Kate Mara. I was delighted it was Neve Campbell.) The dad who set off a bomb under his kids was one kind of father, whereas Will is the kind who'd literally climb the tallest tower on Earth to keep a bomb from going off under his. If you're thinking, "Heh-heh, he's misusing the word 'literally,'" I can assure you that I have never been so literal-minded in my life."
David Fear, Rolling Stone: "What you get is, regrettably and rather surprisingly, something that's a lot less exciting than the sum of those particular parts. When Johnson is not fighting gravity and winning, things have a tendency to go from sweaty-palm-inducing to facepalming, especially when the movie starts dropping him into CGI flamescapes and some increasingly one-dimensional digital sequences. (It's one of those FX-heavy epics that somehow feels overblown and super-chintzy at the same time.) He's also playing his physically wounded, emotionally raw character with a high degree of self-seriousness, in what feels like a bid for dramatic gravitas - a decision that would be laudable if he'd maybe picked another vehicle to do it in. Yes, his mostly po-faced determination to keep his wife and kids safe give his hero some motivational heft. But STRIPPED of his cocked-eyebrow charm, his performance simply comes off as humorless in a movie that keeps getting inherently more ridiculous. Right note, wrong song. This is the sort of thing that requires classic Rock, not an experimental but-what-if-I-maybe-acted-like-this-was-Sophie's-Choice? Rock."
Peter Debruge, Variety: "To backtrack a bit, "Skyscraper" opens with a hostage situation in which former FBI operative Sawyer fails to anticipate a grisly twist, losing his leg and several teammates in the process but gaining a combat-surgeon wife (Neve Campbell, too little seen these days but nicely used here) who happens to be on duty when they bring him in. A decade later, Sawyer has switched jobs, building such an ace reputation as a security consultant that he's hired by Hong Kong developer Zhao Long Ji (Singaporean star Chin Han) to protect "the Pearl," billed as "the safest super-tall structure" in the world, three times the height of the EMPIRE State Building."
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: "The setup is straight out of the early-'90s Shane Black playbook: It starts with Johnson's Will Sawyer as an FBI agent, who fails to stop a nut from blowing up himself and his own kin. Sawyer was scarred by the incident, both emotionally and physically, losing a leg that's been replaced by a titanium prosthetic. Now, 10 years later, he's married to Neve Campbell and is the doting father of two adorable kids. THE FAMILY travels to Hong Kong, where Sawyer's been hired to assess the security of a brand-new mega-skyscraper that dwarfs Dubai's Burj Khalifa, last seen being scaled by Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. The building, known as the Pearl, is pure man-made hubris, outfitted with all of the latest high-tech bells and whistles. But quicker than you can say, "Yippee-ki-yay, motherf-er!" a team of Euro-goons hijack it, looking for a MacGuffin that has no impact on your enjoyment of the rest of the film."