“Skyscraper” Reaches New Heights for The Rock

Rebecca Osowski, Staff Writer

Jumping out of a plane is fun for some people, but for Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), jumping off a crane and scaling the side of the tallest building in the world was a matter of life or death. Sawyer is a former FBI agent who now works for a safety company assessing the safety codes of newly built skyscrapers. When he is hired to assess the tallest skyscraper in the world, located in China, he brings his family along, only to discover that the architect has secrets and his enemies are taking over the building, burning it down, and trapping his family inside.

Johnson, Neve Campbell, McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell make up the tight knit family that sticks together no matter what. Although the movie focuses on the act of saving the family, the underlying storyline of family and love is strong and present but is overpowered by the main objective of saving Johnson’s family from danger.  The director, Rawson Marshall Thurber, has experience with directing films surrounding families, (“We’re the Millers”), and uses this experience to his advantage when creating a loving, nurturing relationship between Johnson, Campbell, and their kids, Roberts and Cottrell. Alexis Balland, a WHS student, who saw the movie when it came out says, “ He was a good father and worried about the kids a lot.” Not only could you see this through his daring rescue mission, but you could see it simply when he was saying goodbye to them for his day at work. In the movie, Johnson says, “Daddy loves who,” and his son replies with “Me,” and then points at his daughter and asks the same question. While watching this scene you could really tell that Sawyer (Johnson) loved his kids and cared about them a lot as he was smiling and embracing them throughout the whole scene. Johnson fit the part very well; his body type for the physical parts and his humble, loving personality for that of a family man.

       Despite the loving family affair, the prominent storyline of action and thrill meets some people’s standards while falling short of others. The prestory detailing how Sawyer lost his leg adds more understanding to the film when viewers see him completing all of the adventurous, thrilling tasks, such as jumping off of the crane which was one of Balland’s favorite parts. “It was a good action movie… had good a concept,” she said.

Similar to “San Andreas”, the movie is based on Johnson’s courageous attempt to save his family from destruction. In both movies, Johnson’s occupation is all about protecting people, portraying him as both a caring, protective person and a loving husband and father. Besides both of the films starring Johnson, they have more similarities along with other movies such as, “Geostorm” (2017) and “The Day After Tomorrow” (2004). All of these movies are characterized as thrillers and keep you on the edge of your seat as parents and state, city and federal employees work against the clock to protect and save innocent family members and civilians from disaster. Although “San Andreas”, “Geostorm” and “The Day After Tomorrow” are all natural, weather related disasters, “Skyscraper” being more of a man made disaster, can still be ranked alongside these movies as some of the best in their genre.

Along with plot comparisons, they also compare in means of rating. All these movies are rated PG-13 and for good reason. I agree with the rating for “Skyscraper” because of the periods of violence, both with hand-to-hand combat and with weapons such as guns, and the brief lines of swearing. The swearing is understandable in Johnson and other characters circumstances but the language is not that appropriate for young children.

While it is unlikely an event like this would happen in real life, the overall story was well composed. The story flowed nicely and kept viewers on the edge of their seats wondering what would come next and what new obstacle would be thrown Johnson’s or his family’s way. If viewers were doubting the believability of the story, it could be easily related to that of a first responder saving a civilian from a burning building or scouring a demolished building for signs of life after a natural disaster or terrorist attack. Events like fires are depicted on television all the time, creating an easy comparison for viewers. Despite being able to relate and compare to these real life scenarios, Balland says, “The fire parts seemed fake but overall was good quality…all in all was a good movie.”

      “Skyscraper” comes out on DVD on October 9 and is highly anticipated because of its overwhelming success in theaters. Balland recommends this movie: “Yes… it was a good movie and my family and friends like action movies.” I also recommend to anybody, whether you like action movies or not because of the surprising twists and turns and Dwayne Johnson’s undeniable stellar performance.