THE REEL: 'Skyscraper' starring The Rock - Daily Nation

THE REEL: 'Skyscraper' starring The Rock

Friday August 31 2018

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock is back again with another movie this year in Sky Scraper. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock is back again with another movie this year in Sky Scraper. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock is back again with another movie this year in Sky Scraper. That’s four movies in the last 20 months!

I don’t know about you but I think that for an actor whose characters don’t vary that much in terms of delivery and mannerisms, that’s an overload of screen time.

Anyway, Skyscraper is a movie about Will Sawyer (played by Johnson) a former FBI agent who loses his leg when a mission they are on turns ugly and an explosion rips through the house they were in.

During his time at the hospital and recovery, he falls in love with his doctor Sarah and the two get married. They have two kids, Georgia (McKenna Roberts) and Henry (Noah Cottrell), and Will goes into security consulting to have stability and be there for his family. It’s been more than 10 years since the explosion, and he’s consulting for Hong Kong billionaire, Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), who has raised the tallest building in the world; a massive 225 floors high. He has to see if the building has any points of compromise to its structural integrity or security contingencies, and moves into the structure with his family for a sort of test-drive. And just as he is about ready to give a greenlight on it, disaster strikes.


A crew of mercenaries then come after the billionaire, who also lives in the building. Led by Kores Botha (Roland Møller) and Xia (Hannah Quinlivan), the men break into the building and the Sawyers are innocently caught in between.

Now Will has to get his family out safely while also ensuring the safety of Zhao, as his duty binds him to. He has to achieve all this, while taking into consideration that he hasn’t been in active security situations in such a long time, and that he moves with the aid of a prosthetic left leg.

It was refreshing that writer and director Rawson Marshall Thurber thought that it was about time they changed Dwayne’s image from being the lone ranger, punch-line delivering, and smack-everything-and-everyone-around character in most movies he has starred in.

They made him vulnerable by giving him a physical disability and then being a family man. This meant that his dialogue, tone and demeanour would be different.

It reminds me of Johnson’s performance in Walking Tall where I just felt his acting was so superior.

The Rock, so that you remember who we’re talking about, gets really scared in some scenes and even takes quite some beatings in others. They really try to make him look like any other dad out there.

I don’t know if this was just me, but seeing a bi-racial family on screen was quite something. Imagine seeing a white actress you know to have a white husband being motherly with kids of any other race that’s not Caucasian.

I know it’s just acting but I got the same fuzzy feeling seeing Kevin Spacey and Jillian Estell in Black or White. These scenes are rarity in movies and television series but I feel them to be very powerful and so real, peaking to other family dynamics not spoken to by creatives.

As always, I have a big issue where movie directors try to use Computer-generated imagery (CGI) and it doesn’t come off quite right. I think with CGI you either go big or go home.

Sometimes the simpler things are the better things. Some shots of the building just looked like they required a final touch up before they had been released.

There’s also a scene where the helicopter plows into the building and I really tried to buy the visuals, but I couldn’t shake off the feeling that something just wasn’t sitting right.

I think the movie, overall, is a different take on what it means to be a superhero. Especially for Dwayne, that he’s not in a fight to save the world in general but rather his world, in terms of those dearest to him, gives him a lease of urgently needed fresh perspective.

Unfortunately, he has been in too many movies already and not many people came out to catch this movie at the cinemas because they believed it would bring nothing new to the table.

I would suggest this for a family viewing with kids who are above the violence-influenced age, you know, those that know “these acts are performed by professional stuntmen; please do not attempt to try these on others or yourselves”.