“Mom,” says Georgia Sawyer (McKenna Roberts), “are we going to die?” “We are not going to die,” says mom (Neve Campbell), leading twins, Georgia and Henry (Noah Cottrell), away from raging fire in “The Pearl,” Hong Kong’s newest skyscraper, 3,500 feet tall. “We are going to be just fine, I promise.” But Sarah and her children are in serious trouble, trapped alone above fierce fire burning on the 96th story. That’s the setup for “Skyscraper,” a hard-to-believe disaster-movie/action-thriller.
Can security contractor and former FBI Hostage Team Leader Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) climb 96 stories on a nearby construction crane, leap into the burning building and rescue his family? Why do Hong Kong police believe Sawyer set the fire? Will you suspend your disbelief long enough to watch this incredible action flick? For answers, see “Skyscraper.”
Dwayne Johnson, aka “The Rock,” brings his infectious smile and screen charisma to Hong Kong’s 240-story skyscraper, just a few months after we saw him defeat a football-field-sized giant crocodile in the Chicago action flick, “Rampage” (2018). Now he’s saving resourceful wife Sarah — well played by Neve Campbell — and plucky twins, Georgia and Henry, appealingly played by McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell. That’s because he’s a family man: “I don’t know who I’d be without my family,” he says. “Lost, I guess.” Pablo Schreiber is Ben, unreliable co-worker with Sawyer. Byron Mann plays Hong Kong Police Inspector Wu and Tzi Ma is the city’s Fire Chief Sheng.
Others in the cast include Roland Moller as vengeful bad guy Kores Botha. “I want to make you watch while your building burns to ashes,” he tells skyscraper-owner Zhao Long Ji, played by Chin Han.
“Skyscraper,” written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, is Dwayne Johnson’s movie. He’s on-screen from beginning to end — from his FBI backstory to a final happy family reunion (no spoiler) after sequences of big-budget, sometimes entertaining, always credibility-straining, Hong Kong heroics. Action sequences are exciting, but implausible. For example, in a one-on-one slugfest, Johnson loses his prosthetic left leg (he lost his own leg working for the FBI), sustains a serious shoulder injury but, amazingly, beats up the other guy. Not that “Skyscraper” always asks us to take it seriously. The duct-tape running gag is, I have to say, pretty funny.
Rated PG-13 for gun violence, action and strong language, “Skyscraper” runs 102 minutes. It seemed longer to me.
You know Dwayne Johnson is “The Rock,”
Of action heroes, he’s the chief —
See him in “Skyscraper,” but
You must suspend your disbelief.