Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is soon to release a film called Skyscraper, about a man rescuing his family from a skyscraper that’s on fire. This, isn’t that film.
What this is, is the usual quickly thrown together, get it out early, copy version of the Dwayne Johnson film. This time with Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black, The Medallion) and Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica (TV), Law & Order: UK (TV)).
Forlani works in the building trade, spending her time between Paris and Antwerp, the latter being where her family: Bamber and the two children, Riley Jackson (The Mermaid Princess, Snow White: Happily Ever After) and Isaac Rouse (Genius (TV), Monster Family), live.
Forlani becomes the target of some unscrupulous business tactics by Nigel Barber (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Spectre) and Atanas Srebrev (Hitman, The Hurricane Heist), the people behind a new building her boss wants to buy.
You see, they’ve cut corners with this building, paying off workers, even killing someone, all in the name of money. So, knowing that Forlani will be poking her nose around, they set her up and make it look like she’s having an affair. This causes her to leave her job (to show the family means more to her) as Bamber files for divorce.
The catch? Well, the divorce lawyer has his offices within this new building, on the 60th floor. And wouldn’t you know it, as the two are there, thrashing out the details, the kids arrive to give some important information to dad, just as the building catches fire and all hell breaks loose.
Crystal Inferno: Skyscraper Escape, or whatever you want to call it, is, and there’s no easy way to say this, a bad film, of course it is, these ‘copies’ usually are.
Forlani, who is actually a good actor, does her best with the lines and role she’s given but she’s up a creek without a paddle here.
The children are whiny, incompetent, annoying brats, whilst everyone else, from Bamber to the firemen that arrive on scene, spend the vast majority of their time standing around staring at things, wondering what to do.
This is true of Forlani and Bamber who, upon learning their children are trapped in the lift (elevator) near the 20th floor, where the fire began, stand around for an age, talking to the kids on a mobile but not really doing anything about it.
The dialogue is painfully unrealistic, and the actors look constantly frustrated. It’s hard to know if that’s them acting or them realising what they’ve signed up to.
Surely there must be something good about it, I hear no-one ask. Well, erm, the CGI isn’t actually too painful. I mean, it’s no Avengers (but then what is besides the Avengers), but it isn’t half bad, I’ve certainly seen a lot worse.
The idea behind Forlani’s character isn’t too bad when you think about it afterwards and, as mentioned, she is a good actor, but there’s only so-much you can do in a movie like this.
If you’re thinking it can’t be that bad, consider this. Barber and Srebrev know that the building sucks, they know they’ve cut corners, they know the building is essentially dangerous. So, knowing all this, where do they elect to have their offices? That’s right, in the very same building. Good grief.