Skyscraper (2018)

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber (Screenplay)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Noah Taylor, Kevin Rankin, McKenna Roberts, Byron Mann, Tzi Ma, Chin Han


Plot: FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building…above the fire line.

Tagline – The sky is the limit

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Spectacularly Entertaining


Story: Skyscraper starts as we learn how Will Sawyer (Johnson) first met his wife Sarah (Campbell) in an FBI Hostage Rescue Team mission gone wrong, which left him without a leg, 10-years later he works in security, figuring out and assessing building for potential hazards. His latest job is his big break, on the biggest building in the world ‘The Pearl’ built by architect Zhao Long Ji (Han).

When everything looks like it is about to pass the tests, Kores Botha (Moller) finds a flaw in the system, setting the building on fire in an attempt to get Zhao, the problem is Will’s family is in the building and will stop at nothing to save his family.


Thoughts on Skyscraper


Characters – Will Sawyer is a former FBI Hostage Rescue team leader, wounded in action, turned to security, he has a small business which will giving him the recommendation to work on the biggest building in the world. the now family man nervous at the thought of this opportunity must prove how safe this building is. He does, but when criminals have other thoughts, he must return to his rescue ways to save his family from the situation. THIS IS NOT A JOHN MCCLANE MARK II, his only goal is to save his family, not to stop the criminals. Sarah is Will’s wife, one of the surgeons that helped save his life, she does what she can to keep the children safe, remaining calm and showing herself a hand at self-defence. Zhao Long Ji is the architect who has designed this brilliant world changing building, he has everything down to make it look stunning, operate smoothly and help the world by creating jobs and running eco-friendly, he is the target of the criminals who want something he has. Kores Botha is the leader of the attack, he has been an old nemesis of Zhao through construction, this is a slightly more generic villain, but his cold-hearted delivery is just as striking as you need him to be. We do get a host of side characters including, the two kids, they are good for the film, the cops on the outside trying to put the pieces together, other members of the criminal gang with Xia being the standout of them and the old friend which got him the job.

PerformancesDwayne Johnson is an actor you all know I will watch everything he does, the genre he shines best in, is action, in this film he gives one of his best action performances to date, he gives his character the feeling he might no succeed even though he looks like he could knock you out with one punch. Neve Campbell is good in the support role showing its about time we saw her back on the bring screen, Roland Moller as the villain is very strong too because we do get moments when you are scared of what he will do. The rest of the cast are good throughout even if we would have liked to have seen more.

StoryThe story is a perfect playlist of how to keep action simple without needing to make anything complicated. One giant building, one fire in said building, one stranded family, one group of criminals and the reluctant hero going against the odds to try and save his family. Those are the core elements of the story and as I said, we don’t need more, this is simple enough to give us everything we wanted. We could look at the minor negative in the story and that would be the amount of characters we do meet outside of the building situation, while I know it is part of the bigger picture, they don’t have the same intensity as the building moments. The biggest weirdly enjoyable part of the story was watching how the crowd just stood around watching on the big screen cheer, gasping like the audience watching.

Action The action set pieces in the film are brilliant, breath taking and truly edge of your seat, seeing Dwayne Johnson pull this off and make you feel like something could go wrong is what it is all about, praise must be giving to a fight sequence too, where Will must fight on one leg.

SettingsThe setting of being in the Pearl was fantastic, we know the escape is next to impossible and watching how this unfolds is edge of your seat, when we step away however it does lose the levels of anticipation we would have liked.

Special EffectsThe building being on fire look amazing, well realistically I don’t actually want to see buildings on fire, but other elements of the special effects go towards making Will’s leg injury seem like the norm for Johnson.

Scene of the Movie –
The crane.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Two big lines from the trailer are not in the movie, they both felt important for the situations we were in.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t just a Die Hard modernised, this is a stand alone action thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and show you all that Dwayne Johnson is the king of the action genre at the moment.


Overall: Must watch action thrill ride.




Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Director: Rupert Sanders

Writer: Jamie Moss, William Wheeler (Screenplay) Masamune Shirow (Comics)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Peter Ferdinando


Plot: In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Sci-Fi Action 101


Story: Ghost in the Shell starts as Major (Johansson) gets thee final adjustments as her mind gets place into cyber-enhanced body placed into Sector 9 an elite Police squad run by Aramaki (Kitano). When an unknown machine known as Kuza (Pitt) declares war on the Hanka the company making the cyber-enhancements including Major’s.

The deeper Major gets into the case with her partner Batou (Asbaek) the more she questions her past through Dr Ouelet (Binoche) but she is left in the middle of a battle between Aramaki, Hanka Director Cutter (Ferdinando) and Kuze to who is in fact guiding her down the right path.


Thoughts on Ghost in the Shell


Characters/PerformanceMajor is the human brained cyber-enhanced robot, she is able to make human decisions while being able to move like a robot, take bullets etc. she does end up down the curious line where she starts to question the truth about her past. Batou is the loyal partner of Major who will back her up in any fight. Aramaki is the typical boss of the team, he does what is best for the unit but will put his neck on the line to make sure they are all safe. Dr Ouelet is one of the doctors who put Major together but most of her scenes are information based scenes. Kuze is the robot hacker that is trying to take out the people in Hanka with his enhanced methods. Cutter is the CEO of Hanka that will stop at nothing to keep the information and methods secret.

Performance wise, Scarlett Johansson is built for action, she kicks ass in this leading role and also has the emotional range to back it up, Pilou Asbaek is also good in the supporting role looking the part of the character from the anime with the attitude intact. Michael Pitt does a good job in this role offering the mystery to the story while the rest of the cast all give solid to good performances through the whole film.

StoryThe story is interesting to follow as it focuses mainly on Major trying to find her true identity after learning not everything is what she believes it do have been. We do also focus on looking at how business and government try to work together but are also always battling each other. I think this is a good sci-fi story but I can already hear the anime fans not liking this as much.

Action/Crime/Mystery/Sci-FiThe action is all big and spectacle like without being anything overly original, we do enter into the crime world which is important as the focus on the cybercrime that offers the mystery for Major to need to solve in the futuristic sci-fi world.

SettingsThe world created looks beautiful for the settings, yes, it is mostly CGI but it looks like the world you could imagine this story take place in.

Special EffectsThe special effects all look great even if you can tell most are based around CGI most are hard not to enjoy.

Final ThoughtsI know people are going to compare this to the anime and I think those fans will find a way to dislike this film, but as a stand-alone sci-fi action film this is good, it has plenty of action in a beautifully crafted world that is just what a popcorn movie should be.


Overall: Enjoyable popcorn sci-fi actioner.