In this installment of a Die Hard, John McClane (a surly Bruce Willis depicted by franchise newcomer Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) is far away from LA, New York, or even a busy airport at Christmas time. Never one to shy away from trouble, McClane squares up against his toughest opponent yet; a very large building, and this time, it’s personal. Jk, it’s terrorists. It’s always terrorists. Working against the clock, our favorite action hero with a new face and a new leg works tirelessly to save the one thing that’s most important to him- his family, and possibly duct tape.
Okay, maye it’s not really a Die Hard movie, but Skyscraper would have been much more interesting were it an actual reboot of the action series. Instead we’re subjected to an homage to everyone’s uncle’s favorite Christmas movie. It contains all the elements: foreign (big scary white guy) terrorists with questionable accents that only one expert can seem to place, a mastermind behind the operation that somehow can’t get his hands a on single ex-cop, an incredulous police authority watching from the ground, a wife/son/daughter in peril, and a hot, muscly, bald man who knows that the only way justice will be served is if he can dish it up on a blood-spattered plater.
Will Sawyer (aka John McClane 2.0) is ex-military, working with the FBI in the hostage division. After a hostage situation gone wrong, Sawyer “puts down his sword” (read: gun) for the last time, focusing instead on building security and the family he has conveniently built with the surgeon who fixed him when he was broken (Neve Campbell). After working out of his garage for years, building up his company to a reputable name, his ex-FBI partner brings him in as a security consultant to help insure the world’s first ever self-sufficient “city in the sky”, or, The Pearl.
Larger than life, The Pearl is virtually impossible to hack into or destroy (you know, like the unsinkable ship the Titanic. You may have heard of it?) Founder Zhao Long Ji has worked tirelessly to bring the “8th World Wonder” to being, building a whole mirror and lights show at the top of the building to bring in tourists to the already thriving city in the sky.
The technology behind the whole thing is incredible, so clearly there’s one slight problem. Bad guys still want to get in there. Not to learn about the tech, or anything else that you may run into in this type of situation. But rather, to recover a hard drive containing information they don’t want getting out. A shaky plot to begin with, Skyscraper focuses on what matters the most; cool stunts and duct tape.
Yes, duct tape. For some reason John ‘The Rock’ McJohnson is obsessed with duct tape, using the go to substance for single dads and Hot Topic teens as his fix for everything. At one point as he cleans up a gunshot wound he even says out loud to no one in particular, “If you can’t fix it with Duct Tape, you ain’t usin’ enough Duct Tape.”
Setting up the most obvious plot devices isn’t enough for this little movie. Oh no, instead we’re subjected to lines littering the movie like “90% of the time turning it off and on again will fix the problem,” (spoiler, something gets turned off and then turned back on to fix an issue). Rather than perhaps hide a plot twist in there, the writers simply went “fuck it, I dunno, a crane?” and ran with it. Explosions, Asian Ruby Rose (because it’s 2018 and you have to have a bad gal), slight sub-plot, a little story building, and voila! Nakatomi Plaza takes Hong Kong; your summer blockbuster hit ladies and gentlemen.
While there is nothing original, or remotely great about Die Hard: Rock Solid, it’s certainly fun. Pull up to some popcorn and a candy that will make your stomach hurt later, then strap in for a hell of a ride you’ve been on before, but it’s still sort of fun because the last time you rode it your sister threw up on your shoes.
Die Hard: An Ok Time to Go to the Bathroom is the Whole Time Because Really it Doesn’t Matter Skyscraper is in theaters now.