Skyscraper/Ocean’s 8 Review

Let’s play cinematic catch-up.

Skyscraper stars Dwayne Johnson as Dwayne Johnson but they expect us to believe that a man with Johnson’s energy is an everyman. He plays a small-time security consultant who is hired by the tallest skyscraper in the world to evaluate their security. While he and his family are there, some terrorists come along and put the creator of the tower under siege, taking Johnson’s family hostage in the process. He then has to fight his way to the top of the skyscraper to save his family.

I really don’t have a whole lot to say about this movie. What do you want me to say about it? It’s a Dwayne Johnson movie. The vast majority of the movies he’s made aren’t that good. This movie doesn’t change that trend. I don’t think anyone expected it to. I’ve seen a funny amount of people think that the trailers to this movie were fake, and I don’t blame them. It’s like a two-hour Geico commercial, but without the punchline. It’s an unintentional parody of itself.

Everything about this movie feels lazily done or rushed, except Johnson. I’ve always liked him in everything he’s ever done. He’s a genuine, charismatic guy, and that charisma carries over to this role. I was rooting for him the whole time, and whenever he was in peril, I came close to almost feeling something like nervousness. The Rock is the best part of the movie. Pretty much everyone else is bad, especially the villains and the main creative behind the skyscraper. No one really has a compelling character because the movie doesn’t want to spend time developing anyone. It feels like it’s emulating Die Hard, but it forgot the part where Bruce Willis is pictured as a character with flaws and a potential redemption arc. That arc makes his saving of the building’s inhabitants all the more satisfying, because we want to see Willis be better. Here, The Rock’s already a perfect guy. We’ve already lost the potential for a compelling redemptive story, so we’re stuck with “he wants to save his family.” That’s fine, but his relationship with his family isn’t developed past “he has one,” which is flimsy at best.

The rest of this movie is just… kinda boring. The best action scene in the movie is the crane scene, but that one’s been shown in trailers, in posters, everything. It’s the main marketing gimmick for this movie, so while it’s mildly exciting, the oomph that it carries is lessened. This whole movie feels watered-down, as if it’s an action movie that is carried by, instead of explosions and testosterone, a walker and Xanax.

3/10.

Ocean’s 8 is a heist movie about Danny Ocean’s (the lead in the first three Ocean’s movies) sister, Debbie (Sandra Bullock), and her criminal exploits after recently being released from prison. She decides to assemble a team of other criminals to pull off a heist she’s been thinking about for her entire prison stay, and this movie follows the enactment of said heist.

It’s forgettably average. The actresses have fun chemistry, the heist itself is enjoyable enough, but nothing about it is exceptional in any way. It doesn’t look interesting, and aside from some perplexingly horrible transitions, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. I felt like I should put my thoughts in this review because I hadn’t really talked about it before, so if you were itching to know what I thought about the first in apparently a trilogy of heist movies, now you know.

5/10.

Up next: Something Impossible.

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