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Jeri Jacquin

In theatres from writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber and Universal Pictures comes the story of a family man, bad guys and a tall building called a SKYSCRAPER.

Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) is a former FBI man who has begun a small security business of his own. Through the help of Ben (Pablo Schreiber), a former member of his FBI team, Will has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Doing the security check of the highest skyscraper in the world owned by Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), Will is more than a little nervous.

Living in the family section of the building that is waiting to be open to the public is wife Sarah (Neve Campbell) who is a successful doctor in her own right. Also, their twins Georgia (McKenna Roberts) and Henry (Noah Cottrell) are enjoying the adventure living in Hong Kong.

Meeting with Zhao, Will is given the okay to complete his security work and given a tablet that allows only him access to certain areas of the building. Headed to the off site facility, Will is attacked and his satchel is stolen. Ben is there to help and discovers that Will still has what it takes. It becomes clear that there is something more sinister happening when Kores Botha (Roland Moller) enters the building.

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Seen by Sarah in the hallways, it is soon after that a fire alarm goes off! Will figures out that the building is under attack and tries to reach his family when he realizes they are in their apartment. He is surprised when it is put on the big screens around Hong Kong that he is the one responsible for it all.

A police headquarters is set up and led by Inspector Wu (Byron Mann) who is suspicious about everything that has been happening. Putting a call out to find Will, it doesn’t take long. On a building next to the skyscraper, Will is finding his own way back into the building that has now been locked down with police hot on his trail.

Zhao is told by his handlers and Mr. Pierce (Noah Taylor) that Will’s family is still in the building and they try to retrieve them. As the fire burns out of control and Zhao realizes that his building has been compromised, he knows it’s time to go and who is responsible for everything.

None of that matters to Will, he wants his family safe and no billionaire, bad guy or skyscraper is going to stop him!

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Johnson as Sawyer is a man with heart, soul and a deep understanding of family. Now, let’s get down to business with this role. Of course this is a ‘disaster’ film and it looks like a few we’ve seen over the years yet bit when Dwayne Johnson takes the lead it’s all good with me. He always portrays a charmingly humble sort of guy who knows what the right thing is and doesn’t hesitate to do it. His characters are always flawed in some way and as Sawyer; he is a man who has a physical disability that doesn’t slow him down. He’s smart, unwavering and determined to make sure his family comes first and that’s what makes him a good dude.

I also must say that if the universe is looking for another Spiderman, they might want to consider Dwayne Johnson (you will understand when you see the film). I was also impressed with little tricks that I kept thinking, “I bet John McClane (DIE HARD) is mad he didn’t think of that”. Just a great homage to a lot of classic disaster and action films I happen to love.

Campell as Sarah is a pretty darn good woman in her own right. She is supportive of her husband, smart with an important career and equally as dedicated to her family. When it all starts to go down, Campell goes into beast mode and makes it clear she is a force to be reckoned with as well. I enjoyed that about her role, she gets her hands dirty and clearly isn’t a pushover. That goes for Roberts as daughter Georgia and Cottrell as son Henry as these two are afraid (with every reason to be) yet are motivated by the example set by their parents.

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Moller as bad guy Botha is quiet, skilled and doesn’t give a hoot who gets in his way. He has a score to settle and settle it he absolutely will. Schreiber as Ben is the man who starts it all using his friendship with Will. Taylor as Mr. Pierce is the guy I’d never trust in a million years which means a performance well done. Mann as Inspector Wu gives Will the chance to plea

Other cast include Kevin Rankin as Ray, Matt O’Leary as Skinny Hacker, Tzi Ma as Fire Chief Sheng, Adrian Holmes as Ajani Okeke, and Elfina Luk as Sgt. Han.

SKYSCRAPER has pretty much everything you go to see an action film for. Although the storyline might seem familiar in a few ways, it certainly doesn’t take away from what happens on screen. Johnson goes in full force and doesn’t waste any time taking his character for a full on adventure but then again we have come to expect that from him – happily so.

Look, I’ve been a fan of disaster films since I was a kid. My earliest experience in disasters on film was watching the 1953 film TITANIC with Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck which captivated me from start to finish much to my mother’s dismay. After that I couldn’t wait to see what Hollywood would come up with next and I followed fearlessly with each film. It’s probably the notion that I get a thrill out of surviving the disasters or perhaps I just enjoy watching what human beings do when survival is on the line.

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Now, SKYSCRAPER will be one of those films that I will stop and watch every time it comes my way. I enjoyed watching Johnson be a part of a family that fights for their survival and not be a victim of it which I’m sure the bad guys didn’t anticipate. Instead, I cheered them all on and boo’d when the bad guys showed their ugly mugs.

That’s what makes films like SKYSCRAPER so enjoyable – the interaction that many in the theatre along with me enjoyed being a part of. There is something to be said for being outspoken when the characters on screen give us something to cheer about. Finally, this film is just one heck of a good time at the theatres with a bucket of popcorn and a comfy seat.

In the end – don’t look down!

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