Action Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review: ‘Skyscraper’ is a Tall but Thrilling, Action-Packed Tale

October 10, 2018Ben MK

In Skyscraper, Dwayne Johnson plays Will Sawyer, a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader who lost part of his leg on the job ten years earlier. But if it hadn't been for that loss, Will wouldn't have gained a loving family, marrying the doctor who helped save his life, Sarah (Neve Campbell), and having twins, Georgia (McKenna Roberts) and Henry (Noah Cottrell), with her. Now, Will is a security consultant who's been recommended by one of his former colleagues (Pablo Schreiber) to assess the safety of the world's newest, tallest building.

Towering 3,500 feet above the busy streets of Hong Kong, the Pearl is not only the planet's tallest free-standing structure, it's also the most advanced. Boasting state-of-the-art features like energy-generating wind turbines, a vertical garden and a rooftop augmented reality experience, and equipped with a seemingly impenetrable security system to protect the multi-level shopping plaza housed on its lower floors and the residential quarters that comprise its upper floors, the Pearl is arguably as secure as it is impressive. But there's a critical flaw that makes it vulnerable, and it's one that Skyscraper's antagonists are out to exploit.

Of course, there's one thing the bad guys didn't count on — and that's Will's family being trapped inside while a raging fire rapidly makes its way up towards them from the building's midpoint. Framed for causing the blaze, Will must now evade capture by the local police and find a way to make his way into the burning skyscraper to rescue his family, saving the Pearl's creator, super-rich entrepreneur Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), and stopping a ruthless terrorist named Kores Botha (Roland Møller) in the process, while on the ground Police Inspector Wu (Byron Mann) works to unravel an emerging mystery.

Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, Skyscraper is packed with nail-biting scenes that push the boundaries of plausibility, but things ultimately skew in the film's favor. Combining the action of Die Hard with the spectacle of The Towering Inferno, Skyscraper may be far-fetched, but if you're a fan of Dwayne Johnson, you can't beat the Rock versus a burning building for sheer entertainment value.

Skyscraper arrives on Blu-ray sporting a 1080p transfer and a Dolby Atmos sound mix, and fans of action movies or Dwayne Johnson won't be disappointed. Image quality is stellar, from the wide shots of the Hong Kong landscape to the closeups of the actors, but the real star of the show is the fiery orange inferno putting the characters in danger. Likewise, gunshots, the sounds of brutal hand-to-hand combat and police sirens come through loud and clear, but it's the roaring flames and explosions that stand out the most in the movie's sound design.

Universal's two-disc combo pack includes a DVD copy of the film, an UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted Scenes (12:07) - Five scenes playable with commentary by director Rawson Marshall Thurber ("Opening Park Scene with the Sawyer Family," "Dead Body in the Bathtub," "Zhao and Pierce Discuss the Fire in the Pearl," "Wu & Han Discuss Will Sawyer - Cantonese and English" and "Try Hard").
  • Extended Scenes (10:17) - Five scenes playable with commentary by director Rawson Marshall Thurber ("Farm House Opening," "Bag Steal," "Xia Blows Up the Off-Site Facility," "Park Fire with Boiling Water" and "Sand Barge Shootout").
  • Dwayne Johnson: Embodying a Hero (4:04) - Johnson, director Rawson Marshall Thurber and the cast talk about how the character he plays in Skyscraper differs from the ones he's played in the past.
  • Inspiration (4:12) - A look at the inspiration behind Johnson's character, three-time Paralympian and the first American amputee to climb Mount Everest, Jeff Glasbrenner.
  • Opposing Forces (2:35) - A look at the characters played by Neve Campbell and Hannah Quinlivan and the execution of their on-screen fight.
  • Friends No More (3:21) - A behind-the-scenes look at the stunt work and physical training involved in staging the fight between Johnson's and Pablo Schrieber's characters.
  • Kids in Action (2:40) - The cast and crew talk about the casting of Noah Cottrell and McKenna Roberts.
  • Pineapple Pitch (1:38) - Johnson and Thurber relate the story of how the actor joined the project.
  • Feature Commentary by Director Rawson Marshall Thurber - Thurber talks about the movies that inspired him, the origin of Skyscraper and the process of bringing the film to the screen, the casting process, shooting in Vancouver, the production design, the visual effects and more.

Skyscraper is available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as of October 9th, 2018. The Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, Spanish and French Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 42 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on July 12th, 2018.

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