Dwayne Johnson has a knack for success, you’d think. He is one of Hollywood’s top earners, helped the Fast & Furious series to its greatest success and soon starred alongside Gal Gadot in the most expensive Netflix film of all time. But there were also bitter setbacks. Tonight, for example, the Die Hard clone Skyscraper is on TV, which unfortunately shows great weaknesses compared to the original with Bruce Willis.
Dwayne Johnson makes Bruce Willis action: That’s what Skyscraper is about
Many critics attributed the weaknesses to the copied plot of the film: Ex-elite fighter Will Sawyer (Johnson) is supposed to check the security precautions for the huge skyscraper of the entrepreneur Zhao (Chin Han). But suddenly terrorists attack the building, using Sawyer’s work for their own purposes set the skyscraper on fire.
He is now doing everything possible to save his wife Sarah (Neve Campbell), who lives in the building, and their children. But it’s not just the flames that get in the way. The terrorists around Fiesling Kores Botha (Roland Møller) also stand in his way.
Bruce Willis would be sad: Dwayne Johnson’s Die Hard copy failed
Dwayne Johnson in Skyscraper
As much as Skyscraper’s entire plot is based on that of Die Hard: That alone wouldn’t be a big deal. From Star Wars (A Hidden Fortress) to Fast & Furious (Point Break) The history of cinema is full of great and successful blockbusters, which owe their core story to other films.
The cloned plot as the main focus of many critics (via Entertainment Weekly ) is more of a lazy argument. The producers of the film didn’t even try to hide the similarities between Die Hard with Bruce Willis and Skyscraper, but even emphasized them – for example thanks to the wonderfully defiant poster design.
A clear homage to Die Hard: A skyscraper poster
In fact, Skyskraper does a lot right at the beginning: Stunt-heavy action scenes, such as the one between Sawyer and ex-colleague Gillespie (Pablo Schreiber), sit like an ace and even compete with the John Wick series.
The camera and dialogues tell very efficiently. Sawyer’s tragic prehistory seems exciting and neither lengthy nor rushed. The script also picks out subtle nuances in part from Zhao or Botha, she leaves them sometimes cold and brutal, sometimes warm works. However, Johnson scores the most in the lead role: The worried father of a family is taken from him here because, like John McClane, he simply rushes through the film instead of indulging in shallow moments of pathos.
Unfortunately, Johnson can’t wear the entire film, and the remaining highlights decrease rapidly after the first third of the film. The entire blockbuster – characters, dialogues, effects – shrinks to a generic skeleton of CGI and hair-raising action sequences.
Will Sawyer with wife Sarah (Neve Campbell)
As soon as Sawyer sets out to rescue his family in the burning skyscraper, all characters are told. Their hulls now exercise quite predictable moves for about an hour. Instead of interesting dialogues or virtuoso stunts, Skyscraper now uses a lot of CGI.
And unfortunately that’s not particularly interesting. CGI does not replace exciting characters, here in particular, the effect spectacle boils down to constantly having to look at a burning high-rise building. Perhaps there are people who awe such show values more than CGI money guzzlers such as primeval monsters or combat robots. But I am not one of them.
It’s a bit as if Skyscraper had looked at each other in the mirror after half an hour and there only saw the tired reflection of the Nakatomi Plaza. There is nothing wrong with being a clone. Copied plots can sometimes be the basis for brilliant additions. But then you shouldn’t be afraid of the original.
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What do you think of Skyscraper?