I imagine the pitch meeting for Skyscraper went something like this…
“Think ‘Die Hard’ in a really, really, really, really, really, really, really tall building.”
“Starring the Rock!”
The Rock plays Will Sawyer, who was in a major accident as a FBI hostage rescuer. A decade later he is a husband and father. He runs a small security business and he has been brought to Hong Kong with his family to give his expert advice for the tallest smart building in the world. But when the building is attacked and Will is framed, he must do everything in his power to get into the building and save his family.
The film moves at a pretty fast page, mostly because, really, there is very little characterization. Will and his wife Sarah are the most fleshed out, followed by building owner Zhao Long Ji. This is great for Sarah who plays much more than just “wife in distress” and is instead a very active participant in their survival. The movie definitely hinges on the Rock’s natural charm though. The terrorists are extremely generic, with only two set apart….the leader and his right hand woman Xia…whose main characterization is “can walk through a hail of bullets without flinching or getting hit”.
And yet, the film remains pretty exciting, regardless of how familiar many of the beats feel, in fact, I honestly only thought about the shortcomings later. In the moment? Skyscraper kept up a fast pace that kept me engaged.