“Die Hard” is a great movie. But it has spawned so many sequels I have lost track of them. Not all of the sequels are bad, but all of them will never compare to the original. That is the problem the filmmakers are facing when they released “Skyscraper,” a sort of “Die Hard” remake, last week.
The only thing this movie does that is different than “Die Hard” is increase the stakes. For example, the main character is more crippled, more of his family members are trapped in the building, and the building is taller. The filmmakers think adding more to a story will make it better. It doesn’t.
The plot revolves around the Sawyer family as they are trapped within The Pearl, a tall skyscraper constructed in Hong Kong, while a fire and terrorists threaten their lives. Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) is in charge of checking the security systems to make sure they are functioning properly. He finds they are of the highest quality. While he does these checks, his wife, Sarah Sawyer (Neve Campbell) and kids reside in the apartment levels of the building, the first and only occupants.
The terrorists, run by Kores Botha (Roland Møller), hack into The Pearl’s security networks and disable all of the safety measures. Then they start a fire on the 96th floor that cuts off all rescue operations from the floors below. Will is on the ground when this all occurs, and he must find some way to get into the building in order to save his family from the fire and the ruthless terrorists.
The film is not original. I don’t know whether it was trying to be a reboot or remake of “Die Hard,” or if it was its own stand alone film. If it was the latter, then it did not do a good job. I couldn’t help feeling the similarities between the two movies. The summaries of the movies are exactly the same: A man in a building tries to rescue his family when the building is taken over by terrorists.
Though there is new technology and a few twists along the way, it didn’t justify the movie as original. Besides this main fault, there are a few implausible moments. Even if someone had two legs (which he didn’t) and were Dwayne Johnson, there was no way anyone could make that jump! This isn’t even the worst of the worst of the moments (no spoilers).
Despite these faults, most of the action scenes were well done. A few of them actually had me clenching my hands, and I could hear gasps from the audience members around me. I say most, because the climax was disappointing. I thought the idea of it looked good on paper, but it wasn’t executed well. It should have been the most intense part of the movie, but it ended up being one of the worst.