Skyscraper – Basically Die Hard but with The Rock.

3 stars
Have you ever wondered what Die Hard would be like if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in it?
If this applies to you then Skyscraper is definitely your kind of movie.
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thuber, Skyscraper stars The Rock as Will Sawyer a government agent turned security consultant and family man after a horrific accident amputated his leg.
After Sawyer’s family is trapped in the world’s tallest Skyscraper, The Pearl, with terrorists hoping to get something from its creator Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), its up to Sawyer to rescue them and stop the terrorists.
Skyscraper is nothing new as it heavily takes influence from Die Hard and a bunch of its imitators.
However, if anything the film seems to embrace its Die Hard influence based on that poster.

Skyscraper
This poster is either incompetent plagiarism at its worst or a loving homage to Die Hard.

That being said, even though I could not watch this movie without thinking of Die Hard, Skyscraper is still an enjoyable action flick with quite a few entertaining set pieces.
The acting is solid with The Rock once again turning in a likable performance and his character’s wife (Neve Campbell) and their children are also well acted.
These characters’ likability is enhanced by the action they are involved in with the final action sequence being particularly entertaining through how its environment was utilized.

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The action of Skyscraper is genuinely good with its action set pieces.

The action even made me like the minor characters as well.
The body guard Ajani Okeke (Adriam Holmes) for example, was a minor character but one of the things he did during this movie was very heroic and made me like his character, even with he had very limited screen time.
However, even though the characters were likeable and some of the action was pretty entertaining, this film just could not escape its Die Hard influence.
On top of this, some elements of the film did not make that much sense.
(Minor spoilers here) For example, people were cheering on Sawyer during his heroic efforts in the movie but at that point the media was stating he was involved in the terrorist attack so it did not make sense for the crowds to be cheering him on.
Still Skyscraper was an enjoyable film despite its problems.
You will have fun with it but will have a hard time separating it from Die Hard.

Rampage Review

two-and-a-half-stars
I remember playing the video game Rampage: Total Destruction on the PlayStation 2 when I was a kid and having a pretty good time with it.
From I can remember, it was a fun enough game to just shut your brain off and go and create carnage for about an hour.
Now, I will admit, it took me a while to realise Rampage was actually an adaptation of this video game series because, if I recall correctly, the game did not have animals turning into giant monsters but people.

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I can remember playing Rampage: Total Destruction on the PS2, as kid.

Going into Rampage I expected to have fun with it as just a big dumb action movie.
What I did not expect, however, was to get a big dumb action movie with with a lack of satisfying action.
But that is exactly what I got.
Directed by Brad Peyton, Rampage stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as primatologist Davis Okoye who looks after the gorilla George.
However, when George is infected with a genetic editing virus and grows to monstrous size, along with a wolf named Ralph and a crocodile named Lizzie, Davis has to find a way to save his friend.
To this movie’s credit, it does have enjoyable moments.
Rampage can be pretty funny at times and the final action sequence is enjoyable, for the first 10 minutes at least.
Then there is Jeffrey Dean Morgan who plays Negan-oh, I’m sorry, I meant Agent Harvey Russel.
Seriously though, they might as well have just named this character Negan because Morgan is giving the exact same performance he gives in The Walking Dead.
That is not to say this is a bad thing though, since Morgan delivers a lot of the exposition in this film and his charisma makes what should have been boring scenes a lot more entertaining.

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan might as well be playing Negan from The Walking Dead, but this does play to the movie’s advantage.

Apart from this however, the movie is a slog to get through.
The characters, except for Morgan’s, are boring and one dimensional, especially the villains who were so comically evil just for the sake of it.
The movie also requires a huge suspension of disbelief since the characters survive some of the most un-survivable things.
Characters surviving impossible things is a common cliche in action films but in Rampage they take this cliche to ridiculous extremes.
Then there is the action, which, let’s face it, is probably the reason most people are going to see this film.
Unfortunately, the action sequences do get very predictable, with one sequence having a jump scare that I knew was coming a full ten seconds beforehand.
I never thought I would get tired of giant monsters fighting each other but it felt like the final fight should have been cut by at least five to ten minutes, as well.
Overall, Rampage is just another video game movie, that meaning not very good.
It does have its moments of exciting action and good character moments, when Morgan is in the scene at least, but other than that it does not deliver that much of a punch.