Saturday, July 14, 2018
Skyscraper *1/2 (2018)
I don't have much to say about Skyscraper except that it offers cliche overload and predictable plotting. Dwayne Johnson stars as a safety consultant for the world's most advanced building in Hong Kong, referred to as heaven on earth, who gets more then he bargained for. All the elements are present: a past trauma, kids in peril, European Crime Syndicates???, and one liners (not very good ones at that). Johnson can be an affable screen presence when he interacts with others, but there's hardly any dialogue in Skyscraper, most of it never goes beyond one sentence. Skyscraper combines Die Hard with The Towering Inferno minus the intelligence and drama. The only point of interest is the setting of Hong Kong, suggesting the real innovations of the future, the new visionaries, will be Asian, evidenced by America's current schizophrenic relationship with the continent. Chin Han plays the building's architect, a fascinating character with great potential who gets pushed aside in favor of The Rock's banal heroics. Asians are generally relegated to being bystanders or villains, in one scene Neve Campbell (heroic wife of Johnson in the film) outsmarts other Chinese characters because she knows the language, drawing an applause from the audience at the showing I attended, a crowd nervous about press one for English I would conclude. Skyscraper is a routine exercise in 21st Century cheese, forgettable and humorless.