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skyscraper
via Universal

A diabolical ‘Die Hard’ ripoff that barely avoided box office disaster dangles precariously on streaming

If you're going to do 'Die Hard,' at least try not to be so blatant about it.

The “Die Hard on [insert location/mode of transport here]” setup has become a near-ubiquitous subgenre in its own right, such is the influence John McTiernan’s classic has had on the entire complexion of the action movie. Plenty of thinly-veiled ripoffs have thrived in their own right, but Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper ain’t one of them.

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Derivative to a fault, the actor and producer’s first mega budget collaboration with Red Notice writer and director Rawson Marshall Thurber was cursed by one-note characters, an entirely predictable story, questionable CGI, and digitally-assisted stunts that stretched suspension of disbelief to well beyond breaking point.

skyscraper
via Universal

Johnson’s rough-and-ready family man springs into action when nefarious villains overthrow a very tall building, putting his family at risk. The authorities believe he’s the one responsible for causing the chaos in the first place, in a basic narrative thread that doesn’t so much wear the Die Hard influence on its sleeve, but get it tattooed across the chest.

Skyscraper may have been a minor success after earning $304 million at the box office, but its domestic haul was a mere $68 million, with the decision to set the film in China proving to be a smart one in the long run after the nation contributed over 25 percent of its entire theatrical tally.

In spite of a mediocre 48 percent Rotten Tomatoes score (although it does boast The Rock’s typical elevated user rating of 68 percent), Skyscraper has hauled itself back from the precipice to enjoy a renewed run on streaming. Per FlixPatrol, the almost offensively bland extravaganza has been swinging from a high ledge on the Rakuten rankings, even if it’s nowhere near being one of its leading man’s finest efforts.


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Scott Campbell
News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.