The Rock excels in silly but watchable action movie Skyscraper

Dwayne Johnson in Skyscraper Picture: PA/UNIVERSAL PICTURES/KIMBERLEY FRENCH

Dwayne Johnson in Skyscraper Picture: PA/UNIVERSAL PICTURES/KIMBERLEY FRENCH

Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, Skyscraper is the second film of the year to feature former wrestler Dwayne Johnson in the lead role.

This time ‘The Rock’ stars as Will Sawyer, a security adviser recruited to assess the worlds largest Skyscraper in Hong Kong.

After losing a leg in a bombing, Sawyer is offered the assignment by a friend as a way to rebuild his life. But when terrorists target the tower, it is up to the former FBI agent to rescue his family and save the day.

Part Towering Inferno, part Die Hard, the film appears to have tongue firmly in cheek, but how much of that is deliberate is a matter for debate.

The fact director Thurber has a back catalogue full of comedies, most notably 2004’s Ben Stiller film Dodgeball, suggests he knows what he’s doing, however the film is played as a straight-up action thriller.

The plot involves a gang of generic eastern European gangsters setting the tower ablaze in a convoluted attempt to steal a hard drive and features some of the most signposted plot ‘twists’ of the year.

The Rock, however, is well cast and remains an engaging and charismatic action hero. In fact, it’s hard to imagine the project getting off the ground with any other actor attached.

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Scream’s Neve Campbell offers solid support as Sawyer’s wife Sarah and child actors McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell are endearing as the couple’s children.

However, unlike the film it borrows so much from, Skyscraper doesn’t have an interesting villain to butt heads with our hero.

The main antagonist played by Roland Moller is a glorified henchman and has none of the wit displayed by the late Alan Rickman in Die Hard.

In fact, the film suffers from a distinct lack of humour throughout, which is surprising for a movie written and directed by someone known for comedy.

When The Rock stands on a ledge ready to abseil down the building using only a curtain cord, he mutters, “this is stupid” – and he’s right.

Skyscraper is cliché ridden and very silly, but even so, it’s still strangely watchable, mainly due to a magnetic central performance from man of the moment Dwayne Johnson.

Skyscraper is at The Regal, Stowmarket, from August 10.