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Skyscraper Review – A Solid Disaster Film Guaranteed to Entertain

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Skyscraper, from Universal Pictures and Legendary Entertainment, brings to the screen an explosive, entertainment driven, fast moving summer disaster flick with powerful visuals, heightened suspense, extreme special effects, set in ultra-modern, technologically advanced Hong Kong.

Directed and written by Rawson Marshall Thurber, Skyscraper stars Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell, Chin Han, Pablo Schreiber, Noah Taylor, Kevin Rankin, Roland Moller, Matt O’leary, Hannah Quinlivan, and Bryon Mann.

Skyscraper begins with a hostage situation, Ray played by Kevin Rankin, takes his wife, and two children, hostage. Shooting an officer responding to the domestic violence, the situation escalates quickly with local state and federal officials on site, the hostage negotiator attempts to talk him down.


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Ray refuses and the federal unit blasts a hole in the wall, with the onsite lead federal agent Will Sawyer, played by Dwayne Johnson, attempting to disarm the situation without loss. On orders Ray turns, holding his son, he mutters, “it wasn’t supposed to end this way.”

And instantly we see he is wearing a suicide vest and in the same instant he detonates. In the next scene Will Sawyer is being wheeled into surgery and a female surgeon, played by Neve Campbell, tells him not to worry.

Moving forward eight years, Will Sawyer is getting ready to meet Hong Kong’s most celebrated developer, Zhao Long Ji, played by Chin Han, on the eve of his spectacular technologically advanced super building opening the residential floors in the final phase of the unveiling. With the Penthouse house on the 200th Floor, residents will enjoy a breathtaking views while experiencing ultra-modern amenities.

Sawyer, who now runs a small security firm, and his family, Sarah, the surgeon, and twins, Georgia, played by McKenna Roberts, and Henry, played Noah Cottrell, are in Hong Kong. Introduced by former FBI specialist also at the hostage home eight years ago, Ben, played by Pablo Schreiber, and Will walk through the meeting while the family is sent on some sightseeing.

Central command for the buildings security, comms and all safety computers is off site. The two men are on their way to visit and ensure the residential floor meet safety codes when a thug cuts the strap of Will’s bag.

Zhao Long Ji, the developer, has enemies and they decided to show up to force him into giving into their demands. Setting the fire, which will be contained to one floor, would be the beginning of the extortion tactics.

At this point Skyscraper begins to peel back the layers of deception and move into the meat of the film. The next hour is pure, entertainment. Super intense, with all the elements that have made disaster films, even those tinged with humor play well.

With Will Sawyer, a lone cowboy, trying to save his family, who are trapped, on the 95th floor. He will stop at nothing to save them or die trying. His wife, a bad-ass veteran with three tours in Afghanistan, has the kids soaking towels and preparing them against the smoke.

For those who enjoy disaster films, Skyscraper is a solid bet. With fast action, heightened suspense, with many exterior shots and for those who have even a slight fear of heights, expect to drawn into Johnson’s battle with the fire, the building, and the elements.

The fire scenes are extremely realistic and one can only imagine the terror of anyone who has had to experience a real tragedy. The cast does well in portraying the fear, and with both parents trained in battle, they arm themselves with the makeshift weapons in order to attempt to exit the mammoth structure.

There are some elements of Johnson’s race against time that do stretch the imagination and are easily recognized. Those scenes still feed well into the entire fear fueled superhero, without cape or special effects, running on pure adrenaline and love for his family.


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For any film buff references to Bruce Willis in Diehard, John Guillermin’s Towering Inferno and South Korean director Kim Ji-hoon’s The Tower, are easily seen.

Skyscraper is purely for entertainment purposes. A solid adventure with intense scenes, 200 floors of action, adventure and thrills. It opens in theaters everywhere on July 13, 2018. See it.

 

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