Published on July 11th, 2018 | by gareth0
Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), is a man getting a new start on life. Ten years after a hostage situation went bad and cost Will part of his leg, he is about to make a bid to a wealthy industrialist which will be a huge boost to his fledgling Security Assessment business.
The building in question is known as “The Pearl” and it is a multi-billion dollar wonder that towers over the Hong Kong skyline. The lower levels are open for consumer shops and other residents, but the assessment is needed in order to obtain the needed permissions to open the higher levels, and thanks to his former teammate Ben (Pablo Schreiber), has recommended Will which has allowed him to get into the mix for the job which usually goes to much larger and better established companies.
Upon meeting his potential new boss Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), Will is able to impress him and is given a tablet customized to his facial ID which will allow him to remotely access the building systems.
On his way to tour the off-site monitoring office which is the last step needed for Will to fully sign off on the building, he is mugged and has his bag stolen. Will fortunately had the tablet on him which soon has him running for his life from a group of deadly individuals as well as the police who believe Will is behind the mysterious fire and system outages that have hit the Pearl in his absence as all the computer safeguards have been disabled by a group of armed individuals.
As if things were not bad enough for Will, he has to get into the burning building as his wife and children are trapped inside and he is their best hope for survival.
In a race against time, Will must face big odds, fire, and the dizzying heights of the building in order to save the day and rescue his family.
The poster and marketing efforts for the film made many believe it was simply an updated “Die Hard” but it is actually more than that. To me it was a mix of “The Towering Inferno” with elements of “Die Hard” but tells a more personal tale without skimping on the action. The film does have some great stunt session and tension but is not an over the top action film nor is it filled with sequences that make you roll your eyes with their stretching of credibility.
The likeability of Johnson is a big key to the film and Neve Campbell is very refreshing as his wife as she is not a typical Damsel in distress but rather a strong woman who is more than capable of holding her own in the worst of situations.
What really stood out to me were the numerous times that my mind was sure Green Screen technology was used to portray the precarious heights but I was able to truly believe what I was seeing was really happening.
The film does follow some of the standard action film checklists but does give users an enjoyable and intense summer movie experience which should be enough to make the film a success.
3.5 stars out of 5