Genre : Action
Rating : PG-13
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Ng Chin Han
At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, movies just aren’t the same anymore. As franchises and cinematic universes became the norm we have seen far less star-driven movies. Instead of heading to the theaters to see the latest Stallone movie or who Jason Statham will beat up this time it’s more about the latest chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or how a YA book series is going to be the start of a new franchise. One of the few names to buck this trend has been Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The former wrestling world champion has become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. And while he’s better knowing for rebooting franchises like GI Joe or The Fast & The Furious he is also the center of a very specific genre, ‘Rock Movies.’
For example, San Andreas can basically be described as The Rock does a disaster movie. Or how Rampage can be described as The Rock fights kaiju. Thanks to his range as an actor and charm Johnson is able to be put into all of these genres while playing a similar character each time. The latest movie to star the former WWE champion is Skyscraper.
Johnson stars as Will Sawyer, a former FBI hostage negotiator turned security expert. Thanks to a friend he gets a job as a security consultant for The Pearl, an architectural marvel in Hong Kong. Suddenly The Pearl goes up in flames with the blame falling on an innocent Will. Wanted by the police it’s up to Will to clear his name, find the criminals responsible and save his family before The Pearl is engulfed with flame. Or, in ‘Rock Movies’ parlance, The Rock does a Die Hard.
While the script doesn’t call for Johnson to drop as many one-liners as John McClane he remains just as charming. As in his other action movies, he does a great job selling the intensity of the situation. No matter what preposterous thing is coming after him, Johnson makes it believable. His captivating personality translates just as well in the quieter moments. When on screen with children Georgia and Henry (child actors McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell, respectively) all of that intensity goes away. What we get instead is the happy, smiling Rock that we’ve all come to know and love.
Joining Johnson for the second time is writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber. First working with together on 2016’s Central Intelligence. More known for comedies such as We’re The Millers and Dodgeball this is actually his first full blown action movie. All things considered he acclimates himself to the genre pretty well. Coming in at a reasonable 102 minutes Skyscraper is quite the well-paced movie. As silly as a scene might get I never felt like the movie was spinning its wheels. In fact, it runs head first into the ridiculousness.
The Rock doesn’t just run to save his daughter. He does it in a burning park. He doesn’t just have to shut off a server. He has to do it while scaling the outside of a burning building. It’s the kind of explosive, over-the-top mayhem summer blockbusters were made for and Rawson Marshall Thurber captures every heart pounding second of it. Just as impressive is the originality for these set pieces. The finale in particular is a fun twist on the old house of mirrors setting. The only real stumble comes from hand-to-hand combat. Like a lot of directors Thurber utilizes a lot of shaky cam making some scenes hard to follow. Thankfully Skyscraper is more about big stunts than straight up fights.
As fun as Rock Movies can be they aren’t perfect and the same can be said of Skyscraper. Like a lot of his movies Dwayne Johnson is the focus the supporting cast suffer. More a collection of character traits and clichés they are basically there to support Johnson. This is particularly noticeable with Neve Campbell. It isn’t necessarily her performance either. She’s perfectly fine as Rock’s wife. The problem is how little she is given to do. More often than not she is either playing the doting wife or caring mother. It really feels like a waste.
The special effects can also be shoddy at times. Considering how VFX-heavy the action scenes can be this quickly becomes a distraction. Things like fire and the building can look quite fake. Things like green screen can become obvious if that is the kind of thing you notice. And as creative as the finale can be the effects aren’t quite as ambitious. This could be excusable for a smaller film but for a movie with a $125 million budget it shouldn’t look as bad as it is.
At the end of his 2000 book The Rock Says… the former pro wrestler tries to predict his future. With the main goal being Hollywood and becoming the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. As fictitious as the book can get this was clearly something he planned to do. In the 18 years since the book was released Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has become a larger than life figure and Skyscraper is a perfect example why. Because despite its flaws, and there are many, it’s still a fun watch. Whether it’s The Rock jumping into a flaming building or hiding in a maze of mirrors he remains one of the most magnetic men on the big screen. With the audience in the palm of his hands, Skyscraper is the kind of summer movie Rampage wanted to be.
Links : IMDB
Skyscraper is now in theaters now
Five Reasons To Love ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’
Back in 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened into theaters with a mixed reception from critics and audiences and has been deemed as the least desirable of the Spidey movies. In the film, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) must face off against another villain who has been given the name Electro. Moreover, our brave hero uncovers some bizarre mysteries surrounding his parents.
Many fans of the series view the film as an overcrowded mess, but I think it might be the most entertaining of all the Spidey films, until No Way Home arrived, and here are five reasons why that remains true.
First and foremost, Garfield is always a delight to have in the Spidey outfit. His charisma and witty banter is almost what makes the film truly great. I have always said that he was the best Spider-Man and this movie proves it with his ability to elevate any scene from dull slog to a comedic venture.
Spidey, in this particular movie, embodies the hero in the original comics with his incessant need to make a fast-talking quip to one of his enemies. There is nothing better than a comic-book character sticking true to his essence and spirit of its source material.
Despite what many people say about the villains, Jamie Foxx as the supercharged baddie Electro proves to be a formidable opponent for the web-head, with his omnipotent powers and overly-powered nature. More than that, Max Dillon is depicted as a quiet, shy loner who is invisible to other people. He is essentially a nobody, until he falls into a vat of electrically-charged eels and becomes the sinister villain Electro.
To better understand a villain, you must understand their plight and Electro’s plight is that of a rags-to-riches success story and the visual effects are certainly something to marvel at.
This article wouldn’t be complete if I decided not to talk about the exhilarating action that embodied the film. Whether we see Spidey chasing down a truck with Oscorp’s product or a massive fight inside a grid that seems like a colossal feat for any Marvel film, the film can take a lot of pride in its action sequences.
One can also never forget the massive and iconic battle sequence between Electro and Spidey in Time Square that seems impossible to be made.
While he remains a secondary villain, Dane Dehaan’s Green Goblin is still noteworthy. Dehaan portrays Harry Osborne who is left with his dead father Norman’s life work and stumbles upon a Goblin serum that enhances his speed, strength, and intelligence.
His little spat with Spider-Man is certainly befitting for the dark, moody tone of the film and entertaining for plenty of comic fans with zippy action and certified intensity. In the end, he is also responsible for the death of Spidey’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy.
Gwen Stacy Death
Speaking of Gwen Stacy, this is the only Spidey film that features his love interest dying. As he battles the Green Goblin, Spidey attempts to hold on to Stacy, literally, by a thread in the clocktower. However, when the thread snaps, Spidey is able to snag her in mid-air but the whiplash of the fall snaps her neck, killing her.
What might be the saddest moment in any Spider-Man film, was brought to life in this extraordinary scene that silenced an entire generation of Spider-Man fans.
Anthony Hopkins to Lead Peacock Gladiator Drama ‘Those About to Die’
Peacock is one of the streamers that has yet to break through in terms of their original content getting recognized for awards contention. One such series that might change that fate for the streaming service is Those About to Die and it’s starting to build out its cast. According to Variety, 2-time Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, The Father) is the first to join the drama series which comes from Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow). Saving Private Ryan screenwriter Robert Rodat will script the series.
Hopkins will play the character known as Emperor Vespasian in the series which is set in the world of gladiatorial battle. It will be an ensemble drama following many different Roman characters that will set forth for violent affairs in the arena among other complexities such as political power and corruption so expect a starry cast for this Peacock drama. Hopkins’ character is described as “despised by the Patricians jockeying for position in the Empire and looking to supplant his heirs to the throne the first chance they get. Vespasian became the Roman emperor after a ten-year civil war. We expect to get more casting news soon as the show will begin filming in Rome in March.
Anthony Hopkins is coming off a terrific performance in James Gray’s Armageddon Time in 2022 after winning his second Academy Award for his role in The Father the year prior. He’ll next voice a character in Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon for Netflix and also will star in British drama One Life alongside Helena Bonham Carter and Jonathan Pryce. Emmerich is coming off directing the sci-fi disaster film, Moonfall in 2022.
‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Adds Oscar-Nominee William H. Macy
The Planet of the Apes trilogy headlined by Andy Serkis from the 2010s can be argued as one of the best trilogies of all-time. The technological advances made from motion capture helped actors completely transform into the apes with their interactions with human characters making the story rawer and more emotional. Now, 20th Century Studios will jump back into the world of apes with their latest, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Deadline reports that William H. Macy (Shameless, Fargo) will round out the cast for the newest chapter of the franchise.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes takes place many years after the conclusion of War for the Planet of the Apes being led by an entirely new cast that includes Owen Teague, Freya Allan and Peter Macon. Details are currently unknown on whether Macy will be playing a human character or an ape. The film series has grossed almost $2 billion dollars for the studio so it’s no surprise that they’re aiming to make more Apes fims.
Macy is coming off his biggest role ever in Showtime’s series, Shameless for which he played Frank Gallagher and was nominated for 6 Emmy Awards for his performance over 11 seasons. Macy is also a former Oscar-nominee for his lead role in the Coen Brothers classic, Fargo. Since then, he’s amassed tons of parts including most recently in Hulu’s The Dropout and a guest spot on the ABC sitcom, The Conners. Macy will next appear in the film, Maybe I Do with Emma Roberts, Diane Keaton, Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon.
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