We flash forward to find our hero helping Mrs The Rock (Neve Campbell) fix a problem with her smartphone. “You turn it off and then on again,” he O’Dowds. She makes him do it for her. The scene goes on. Why is this happening? It’s almost as if the film is gesturing towards some later plot development.
Then Dwayne, now a security consultant, goes to work in a newly opened Hong Kong skyscraper (it’s a mere coincidence that the film is set there and that the star is huge in Asia) to be shown around the huge sphere at its apex. “It’s the eighth wonder of the world,” his boss says as a multitude of oblongs rise from the floor to project images of the two men back at them.
This is ludicrous. It’s not as if the film is going to end with a shootout in the style of The Lady from Shanghai or Enter the Dragon. Those screens won’t ape the mirrors in those films. Will they? No spoilers.
None of the foreshadowing warns us just how depressingly ordinary Skyscraper turns out to be. I am as well disposed to the average Rock-delivery system as the next fellow, but there are limits to the laziness even his greatest fans will allow.
As the opening paragraphs have undoubtedly foreshadowed, Rawson Marshall Thurber’s film is literally a shameless retread of Die Hard. Euro-trash gangsters attack the building. Our hero is the only one who can save the day. We said “literally … shameless” and we meant it: entire shots and individual scenes seem lifted from the 1980s classic.