This film is directed Rawson Marshall Thurber, who also did 2004’s “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”, 2013’s “We’re The Millers” & 2016’s “Central Intelligence” and stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han & Noah Taylor. While Thurber is known for comedy films, this marks his first in the action genre and second film working with Johnson.
After Asian investors and a high lever financier (Han) have financed the construction of the world’s largest skyscraper in Hong Kong, standing 3500 ft and 225 stories tall, former FBI agent & U.S. war veteran, Will Sawyer (Johnson) is brought in to assess the building’s security. His wife, Sara (Campbell), and 2 kids are also in Hong Kong as the enjoy the societies built in the skyscraper. As Sawyer and the security liaison leave the building to talk about the system, a team of mercenaries, disguised as building maintenance workers, spring an attack trapping Han, Sara & the kids inside as certain floors catch fire which prevents any outside interference and leaves Sawyer to break in and save everyone.
As entertaining as some of the parts are in this movie, this comes across as yet another ripoff of “Die Hard”. Many other films in the past have tried that same formula with some success like “The Raid”, “Con Air”, “Olympus Has Fallen” and but also failures like “Passenger 57”, “Sudden Death” & “Under Siege”. This film fails on so many levels from the over the top action, under developed characters and a very uninteresting villain. Honestly the only brigight in the movie is The Rock but even his performance wasn’t the charismatic action star we’ve seen in his previous films. The takes a lot from “Die Hard” but also other movies like “Towering Inferno” & “Enter The Dragon” which really just reminds you of great those films were and how mediocre this one is.
Despite a somewhat solid performance from The Rock, the film tries to honor 80’s & 90’s action films but unfortunately fails from a storytelling standpoint, too much CGI, toned down action, not enough practical effects and underdeveloped characters. One thing I found ironic was that Thurber & Johnson had hyped this movie to an “original” action film but then when the first trailer came out, Die Hard & Towering were the first thing came to everyone’s mind. As much as I’m a huge fan of The Rock’s films, this one was a bit disappointing but not like “Doom” or “Baywatch” disappointing.