Skyscraper (2018)

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Skyscraper Main Poster.jpeg
Skyscraper Teaser.jpeg
The Towering Die Hard Inferno
Genre: Action
Directed By: Rawson Marshall Thruber
Produced By: Beau Flynn
Dwayne Johnson
Hiram Garcia
Rawson Marshall Thurber
Written By: Rawson Marshall Thruber
Starring: Dwayne Johnson
Neve Campbell
Chin Han
Roland Moller
Noah Taylor
Byron Mann
Pablo Schreiber
Hannah Quinlivan
Cinematography: Robert Elswit
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: July 1, 2018 (Beijing)
July 13, 2018 (United States)
Runtime: 102 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $125-129 million
Box Office: $304.9 million

"Twists and turns are fine and all, but when your film doesn't really have a presence to be feared...this is the epitome of Hollywood watered-down action."
Chris Stuckmann
"Turn it off... and never turn it back on."
I Hate Everything

Skyscraper is a 2018 American action thriller disaster film directed, written and produced by Rawson Marshall Thruber and starring Dwayne Johnson who co-produced the film. Co-starring alongside Johnson are Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, and Hannah Quinlivan. The film premiered in Beijing, on July 1, 2018 and was released in the United States by Universal Pictures on July 13, 2018, in 2D and RealD 3D.


Will Sawyer is a former FBI agent and U.S. war veteran who now assesses security for skyscrapers. While he's on assignment in China, the world's tallest and safest building catches on fire -- and Will gets framed for it. Now a wanted man and on the run, he must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family members when they become trapped inside the inferno.

Bad Qualities

  1. The Towering Inferno and Die Hard already had a original concept and both films are way better, which makes this film somewhat a rip-off of them.
  2. False advertising: Will Sawyer being jumped and climbed for skyscraper on daytime has nothing to do with this movie, making that poster a bit misleading.
  3. The main antagonist, Kores Botha (Roland Moller's character), is written in a way that makes them look severely cartoon-ish and far-fetched. On top of this, his motivation of controlling the Pearl skyscraper by starting a fire in random places so he will withdraw millions of dollars in shakedown payments is incredibly unnecessary, ridiculous and contrived. He can be considered a rip-off of Vincent Moore from Chappie and Nolan Sorrento from Ready Player One, as they plans have to find and kill them and take over the world and then later got killed at the climax (although Nolan Sorrento was never killed, but rather arrested).
    • Even the villains are worse and uninteresting as well.
  4. There are various moments that make the film unintentionally hilarious.
  5. Terrible and unimpressive visual effects, especially with the fire at all.
  6. Poor and awkward cinematography and writing which look like as if they were made for a straight-to-video or television film.
  7. The first act of the movie is very formulaic.
  8. The sub-plot with Will Sawyer being a family man is pointless and comes out of nowhere.
  9. Clichéd and lame action scenes (depending on your view) that could've done better. Also, since the action scene are shot in the dark, it makes the movie even harder to tell what's going on further.
  10. The supporting characters are all one-dimensional and flat and have no character development at all.
  11. Very poor acting (except for Dwayne Johnson), especially from the child actors, which feels forced.
  12. This movie does misunderstands what asthma actually is; it is established that Henry has asthma, even though in many scenes it doesn't seem to affect him (especially when there is smoke in the room; in fact, he seems to be talking and breathing fine and even yelling, he also has no signs of asthma in those aforementioned scenes), aside from in one scene (when he is shown with an inhaler) where it is dialed up to eleven.
  13. Plot hole: When Will steals the Police motorcycle, you can hear it changing gears as he speeds off. His left leg, from the knee down, is a prosthetic so his foot (which is locked into its primary position) cannot make the required movements to change gears on a motorcycle.
    • Another plot hole is that the original plan for acquiring the tablet was for it to be stolen from Will's bag at the boat dock. However, the tablet is bio-metrically locked to Will's face and so if the tablet was stolen from the bag as planned, then there would be no way to unlock it without Will and no way to disable the fire systems.
  14. Rawson Marshall Thurber's direction isn't great.

Good Qualities

  1. Dwayne Johnson gives a decent performance as Will Sawyer. He was also well-cast as him.
  2. Georgia Sawyer is pretty cute and likable.
  3. Some scenes are suspenseful.
  4. Good soundtrack from Steve Jablonsky. One song that played at end credits, "Walls" performed by Jamie N. Commons, is also really good as well.
  5. As mentioned above, there are some unintentionally funny moments.
  6. One or two action scenes can be good depending on your view.


Critical response

Skyscraper received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike, who praised Johnson's performance and the film's suspenseful scenes, but criticized the script as clichéd and too similar to The Towering Inferno and Die Hard. It currently holds a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 5.1/10 and a critical consensus that reads, "Well-cast yet derivative, Skyscraper isn't exactly a towering action thriller feat, but it's solidly constructed enough to stand among the genre's more mildly diverting features.". On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating to reviews, the film has a score of 51 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". On IMDb and Letterboxd, it earned the score of 5.8/10 and 2.4/5, respectively.

Chris Stuckmann earned this movie grade of D+, explaining that this is the epitome of Hollywood watered-down action. Angry Joe gave this movie a rating of 3/10.

However audience score on Rotten Tomatoes was more mixed, with 62% score.

Box Office

Skyscraper grossed $68.4 million in North America, and $236.4 million internationally. Overall, the film made a total $304.8 million worldwide against its $125 million budget. The film was declared a box office flop. Because of the box office performance, the distribution deal for Legendary Pictures was expired with Universal Pictures in 2019 and a new agreement was reached to returned for Warner Bros. Pictures, beginning with Pokémon Detective Pikachu.



  • For the basis of the score, Steve Jablonsky worked with traditional orchestra and blended looped guitar riffs which consisted of both acoustic and electric. He did this to make the film more realistic and gritty, avoiding the notion of a hero-esque theme. As for the character of Botha, Jablonsky discarded the use of an orchestra to represent the villain. So, he came up with a "unique percussion rhythm" by recording "tom-toms through several distortion pedals and a compressor." which Thurber liked a lot.
  • Brad Peyton and Roland Emmerich were originally going to direct the movie.
  • The architectural rendering of the 225-story tall skyscraper was based on Chinese inspirations. According to the New York Post - "tasked with envisioning the architectural wonder at the center of the Hong Kong-set Skyscraper, production designer Jim Bissell and his team researched local myths for inspiration and came upon a Chinese fable they could work with."
  • This is first Rawson Marshall Thurber film to not include comedy.
    • In fact, it also marks his second collaboration with Johnson, following Central Intelligence.

Legendary Pictures


Batman Begins - Superman Returns - Lady in the Water - The Ant Bully - Beerfest - We Are Marshall - 300 - Trick 'r Treat - 10,000 BC - The Dark Knight - Watchmen - Observe and Report - The Hangover - Where the Wild Things Are - Ninja Assassin


Clash of the Titans - Jonah Hex - Inception - The Town - Due Date - Sucker Punch - The Hangover Part II - Wrath of the Titans - The Dark Knight Rises - Jack the Giant Slayer - 42 - The Hangover Part III - Man of Steel - Pacific Rim - 300: Rise of an Empire - Godzilla - As Above, So Below - Dracula Untold - Interstellar - Unbroken - Blackhat - Seventh Son - Jurassic World - Straight Outta Compton - Steve Jobs - Crimson Peak - Krampus - Warcraft - The Great Wall - Kong: Skull Island - Pacific Rim Uprising - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Skyscraper - Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again - BlacKkKlansman - Little - Pokémon Detective Pikachu - Godzilla: King of the Monsters


Enola Holmes - Godzilla vs. Kong - ⊃∪∩⪽

External Links


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