Oct 012018

Skyscraper isn’t a terribly impressive action film even by the mindless entertainment kind, but it is passable enough even if the plot heavily borrows from The Towering Inferno and Die Hard.




Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Universal | PG13 – 103 min. – $44.98 | October 9, 2018

Date Published: 10/01/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer(s): Rawson Marshall Thurber (written by)
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, Hannah Quinlivan
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted/Extended Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (4K/BD): English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Universal Studios Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.0/5

There’s probably no actor working harder than Dwayne Johnson who seems to have a few movies released every year and is attached to numerous others to be released over the next 2-3 years. His latest is Skyscraper, which is Die Hard meets The Towering Inferno with a pinch of stupidity thrown in for extra measure, and there’s another comparison with the villain and, well, can’t really divulge without getting into major spoiler territory…

The plot follows Will Sawyer (DWAYNE JOHNSON), a former member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team injured following a botched operation, is living in Hong Kong with his family: wife Sarah (NEVE CAMPBELL), who was his surgeon who saved his life, and two children. He now works as a safety consultant brought in by his ex-agent and friend (PABLO SCHREIBER) to assess the newly finished skyscraper, “The Pearl”, the tallest building in the world.

But not all is at it seems. After Sawyer receives full access to the building’s infrastructure and computer via a tablet, he is targeted by a gang who, upon getting the tablet, are able to infiltrate the off-site center and disable the fire repellants, so the fire would advance after its set by their leader, Kores Botha (ROLAND MOLLER), with the intent on setting up Sawyer for the blaze and provide cover for their objective: retrieving a valuable drive in the possession of the building’s owner (CHIN HAN).

Trapped inside with the terrorists are Sawyer’s family and he will do anything, including leaping off of a crane to get inside, as the police, led by Inspector Wu (BYRON MANN), look on along with the rest of the city as the events are televised on a large screen for the world to see.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the occasional dumb, mindless movie and on paper, Skyscraper does fit the bill. I’ve also become a rather big fan of Dwayne Johnson from the Fast and the Furious franchise to last year’s surprise hit, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. However, and I can’t place my finger on it, but this movie really didn’t hit the right note for me and also never felt all that epic, perhaps because so much mediocre CGI was used (especially toward the end inside the Pearl’s sphere) or just the story was rather thin and its villain even thinner in depth as he’s just a guy working for syndicate like people.

Skyscraper sees superstar Dwayne Johnson re-teaming with Central Intelligence director Rawson Marshall Thurber and while I wasn’t all that wild about this movie, I will say it’s probably a tad better than CI and likely would re-watch this movie over it. In terms of the performances, no doubt Johnson does give it his all and you can never say Johnson merely sleepwalks through his movies.

With the supporting cast, it’s always nice to see Neve Campbell get some work on a major production and accorded herself rather well; and then there’s the villain portrayed by Roland Møller (The Commuter) and I guess he looks sinister enough but if we’re comparing him to, say, Hans Gruber, no he does not hold a candle to that legendary character or, of course, the late Alan Rickman. Serviceable but also forgettable.



This release comes with a semi-glossy, title-embossed, slip cover. Inside is the redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All features are on both the UHD and Blu-ray.

Audio Commentary – Producer/Writer/Director Rawson Marshall Thurber. The filmmaker is pretty energetic and does keep the flow going on the track even though he is solo (would’ve been nice if he was joined by a producer or even someone like Neve Campbell as Johnson would’ve been unavailable filming one of his 200 movies in development…

Deleted Scenes (12:07) – Only four scenes here that didn’t make the cut. Includes an optional commentary with Thurber.

Extended Scenes (10:17) are five more scenes that were trimmed, including an extended opening sequence. Again, comes with an optional commentary track.

Dwayne Johnson: Embodying a Hero (4:04) is a featurette looking at the actor and his Will Sawyer character and what drew him to the role.

Inspiration (4:12) – This examines the physicality of the role as he portrayed an amputee character.

Opposing Forces (2:35) is a short featurette on the fight sequences with Neve Campbell and Hannah Quinlivan.

Friends No More (3:21) looks at the fight between Johnson and Pablo Schreiber’s characters.

Kids in Action (2:40) checks out the child actors who play Johnson and Campbell’s kids, casting them, and their action scenes.

Pineapple Pitch (1:38) is about the pitch Thurber made to Johnson.


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 5.0/5

Universal takes the 4K elevator on Skyscraper where it is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a nice looking 2160p high-definition transfer (and 1080p for the included Blu-ray copy). No real surprise, but this does look great in the 4K format where detail is superb and colors do pop out such as the yellow flames coming out of the building set against the night sky while skin tones appear natural, like being able to discern each bead of sweat coming off of Johnson’s bald head or the gray scruffs of his goatee.

4K/BD AUDIO – 4.75/5

Both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray come with a strong Dolby Atmos track which really comes to life with the action sequences but also provide clear dialogue levels from the center speaker and the fronts and rear channels are also utilized for the ambient noises and off-screen elements such as the flames bellowing or when Johnson must climb past a combine (or w/e it’s called).


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Overall, Skyscraper isn’t a terribly impressive action film even by the mindless entertainment kind, but it is passable enough even if the plot heavily borrows from The Towering Inferno and Die Hard, however this is the lesser of the Dwayne Johnson’s recent offerings, though I probably did like it more than Central Intelligence. The 4K release offers up excellent video and audio transfers and an okay selection of bonus material.




The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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