Skyscraper 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Although he might be the biggest star in the world right now, Dwayne Johnson has had a surprisingly hard time carrying his own action movie. He’s had success in franchises and with a comedian sidekick, but when it’s just him versus nature/bad guys/animals/etc., the movies usually trend toward the boring side. So that, coupled with the fact we got three Dwayne Johnson movies in six months might be the reasons his latest action film, SKYSCRAPER, didn’t have great box office success. The frustrating thing for this reviewer is that this might be his best non-franchise action movie to date.
The idea brings back memories of the original Die Hard and the trailers sold that angle pretty hard. But despite the fact it’s about a guy trying to get into and out of a skyscraper, it really doesn’t merit a Die Hard comparison. Teh plot revolves around Will (Johnson), who is a security consultant for the world’s tallest building, owned by the billionaire Zhao (Han). He’s tasked with ensuring the building is safe before the grand opening and in the process, is entrusted with a tablet that gives him total access. Little does he know, Zhao has a few enemies, one of which is hellbent on obtaining a valuable possession of Zhao’s and to do so, he needs Will’s tablet. To make matters worse, Will has his family staying in the building with him, meaning his survival mission has turned into a rescue mission.
There’s nothing groundbreaking about SKYSCRAPER; most of this is something we’ve seen before. The concept of rushing into a burning building was a nice twist and allowed director Rawson Marshall Thurber to do some creative things with Will’s attempts to get inside. We all knew Will was going to survive every death-defying stunt, but some nice directing kept the audience on their toes, going from one intense scene to another. If you were concerned about the jump from the crane to the building, then know that it didn’t seem nearly as ridiculous in the movie as it did in the trailer. Don’t get me wrong; the movie is filled with some ridiculous stunts, but none of them were as distracting as you might have feared.
Dwayne Johnson is a charming guy and he almost dares the audience to not root for him in every movie he’s in. His captivating screen presence carries SKYSCRAPER and helps to make things slightly more believable. Every time I see The Rock in a standalone action movie, I want him to use his muscles to beat up all the bad guys, ala every 80’s action movie. But it doesn’t happen here and it really didn’t need to since the bad guys are kind of an afterthought. Most of the movie is Will versus the building and the bad guys are just there to justify the building’s demise. The forgotten Neve Campbell also gives a nice turn as his tough-as-nails wife.
Dwayne Johnson has a very loyal fanbase and they should be happy with SKYSCRAPER, even if they skipped it in theaters. This is his movie and he proves here that he can handle his own action film without the benefit of an ensemble cast or a franchise.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: SKYSCRAPER is a very, very dark film and I was concerned how it was going to look on 4K. But I’m pleased to say that the 4K and HDR in SKYSCRAPER handles the darkness very well. Even the CGI fire looks good here, with no banding or saturation in the contrast with the dark backgrounds. The moments of color or light also look great, giving extreme detail in Johnson’s face and clothing. This is a very nice transfer that looks great all around.
Audio: The Dolby Atmos track is put to good use here and might be the real star of the film. The explosions, crowd noise and every crackling steel beam comes through very impressively.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which has the following special features:
Commentary with Rawson Marshall Thurber: The director is very proud of his movie and gives some good insights into the film and his process and reasoning for various scenes.
Deleted Scenes (12:05): Five scenes in total, none of which made much of a difference or stood out.
Extended Scenes (10:20): Another five scenes, along with optional director commentary.
Featurettes (18:30): Six featurettes, the longest of which is just over four minutes. I’m lumping these together because they have some overlapping material and they’re all of the promo variety.