We have had Die Hard on a mountain (Cliffhanger), Die Hard on a boat (Under Siege) Die Hard on a plane (Air Force One, Non Stop), Die Hard in the White House (Olympus Has Fallen, White House Down) and now we have Die Hard in… a Skyscraper! This revolutionary film is written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, Dodgeball) and stars the inimitable Dwayne Johnson.
Will Sawyer (the aforementioned Mr Johnson), a one legged former FBI hostage rescue team leader, is hired to oversee security of Hong Kong high rise The Pearl, the worlds tallest skyscraper. Inevitably a gang of baddies, headed by walking fringe Xia (Hannah Quinlivan) and bulky Russian Kores Botha (the Danish Roland Moller), breaches the Pearl’s security and sets it alight. So it is up to Will Sawyer to save his wife (Neve Campbell) and kids from the towering inferno and save the day.
This story has been done a thousand times before, merely acting as the necessary foil for the wondrously overblown, action filled caper we have come to expect from The Rock – think San Andreas or Rampage. Yes this film is preposterous, laughably illogical, and strains the laws of physics but by jove is it fun. It is rammed with edge of your seat lunacy, that crane jump, and moments so cheesy your cannot help but love – Will Sawyer holding up a bridge with the power of his biceps for example. Lest we forget the star of the show, duct tape – a multi purpose tool used for first aid, restraint and, most impressively, scaling the outside of a skyscraper (eat your heart out Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol).
The acting is all very perfunctory, Dwayne Johnson plays the vulnerable yet brave hero Will Sawyer with affable charm. The villains of the piece, as played by Hannah Quinlivan and Roland Moller (Atomic Blonde), tick all the necessary boxes – snarling, out for vengeance, and with an army of goons at their disposal. The tower’s creator Zhao Long Ji as played by Chin Han is pretty nondescript, with the most memorable performance going to Neve Campbell, who plays Will’s wife Sarah.
7.5/10 – Yes it is stupid, yes it is overblown, preposterous and riddled with cliches but bloody hell is it fun; Skyscraper is an action filled romp of insane proportions.