In the Dark: Action movie takes The Rock to new heights

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Skyscraper


Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell

Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Rated: PG-13

Ours is not to question why, but to just sit back and be entertained. As silly and preposterous as this new action film is, it is still highly entertaining, and that’s what summer movies are all about.

Tailor-made for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, this would not be the first or the last action movie with a plot that is so outrageously nonsensical it hurts the brain to try and actually reason it out. Don’t bother with this; after all, I still couldn’t tell you what the plot involved in any of the “Mission Impossible” movies, and yet they continue making them.

In this one, the bad guys purposely set fire to a high-rise, and I do mean high, for the purpose of getting their hands on a flashdrive secured in the billionaire owner’s penthouse. Really?

But we begin in Oregon where Will Sawyer (Johnson), FBI Hostage Team leader, is in a tense negotiation with a deranged man who is threatening to blow up himself and his family. When he does, some of Will’s team dies in the blast, and Will loses his left leg below the knee. At the hospital, he meets a pretty doctor, Sarah, who will eventually become his wife.

Ten years later, they are living in Hong Kong where Will is now a leading security consultant. His latest job is The Pearl, a 240-story multi-use high rise. To put it in perspective, this building is three times as tall as the Empire State Building and billed as the safest super high rise in the world.

There are many twists and turns that are relatively easy to figure out, and all lead to more and more incredible stunts performed by Johnson, who by the time the action heats up has lost his prosthetic leg and is forced to do most of the stunts with only one. This includes hanging off a crane about 100 stories up as Will, who by now is believed to have started the fire and is being pursued by law enforcement, is trying to break back into the building to save his family, who were not supposed to be there when the villains started to fire.

“Skyscraper” is kind of a cross between the old Irwin Allen disaster movie “The Towering Inferno” and, of course, “Die Hard,” the Bruce Willis movie that launched many, many sincere forms of flattery via their copycat plots. But those didn’t have The Rock, and he’s the best thing about this, next to some really impressive stunts.

This guy is appealing, good looking and earnest enough to be believable. He takes his place in the pantheon of action heroes like Schwarznegger, Stallone and Willis in a genre that needs some action heroes. He is now an official boy of summer with not one but two hits this season. “Rampage” opened about a month ago to good box office.

Plus, Johnson has it all. He can do drama, action and has proved that he’s not above making fun of himself in raunchy comedies like “Bay Watch,” one of his few failures.

“Skyscraper” is just the tonic for a hot summer day. Go into a cool theater, buy some popcorn and a cold drink and enjoy what The Rock is cooking. It’s solid entertainment.