This makes the 126th film this year that Dwayne Johnson has been in, although I think my math be a little off. Yes, the Rock is back–again–as an action hero–again–saving an incredibly tall building from some bad guys. Oh, but THIS time, he’s sporting an artificial right leg. Well, at least THAT’S different!
Say hello to Will Sawyer (Johnson), a former FBI-guy who lost a leg during a botched mission, but now he’s running security for super-billionaire Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han). Y’see, Ji has built The Pearl, a monstrous 220-story tall building in China that boasts a shopping mall, an indoor arboretum, two gigantic wind turbines for power, and a giant globe at the top that does crazy things with image refracting. Will being on Ji’s payroll has its perks, like getting to live on the 96th floor with his lovely Navy surgeon wife, Sarah (Neve Campbell), and his two precious kids, Georgia & Henry (McKenna Roberts & Noah Cottrell).
But wouldn’t’cha know it, a team of bad guys go and show up, lead by the international terrorist, Kores Botha (Roland Moller). Will is away, getting betrayed by his best friend, as they set fire to the 96th floor. But hey, all those fancy-schmancy fire devices will put the flames out, right? Wrong! Xia (Hannah Quinlivan), Botha’s gorgeous but lethal accom- plice, has locked out all the Pearl’s computers and made the building a… well, a Tower- ing Inferno! Not one for idling standing by and watching his family become crispy critters, Will pulls a really insane Mission: Impossible feat to gain entry into the blazing bldg. (sorry, Tom Cruise)
Problems just begin as those wacky terrorists want Ji and his super-important USB drive, and will stop at nothing to get it. This means threatening Will by snatching his little girl. Big mistake! Time for Die Hard, Commando, and the end of Enter The Dragon to all be rolled into one big ridiculous hodge-podge, with Will showing us 101 Ways to Use Duct Tape. Will also demonstrates that any human can easily withstand being knifed, stabbed, pummeled, beaten, shot, endure repeated massive physical trauma, and STILL walk away with only a slight limp!
This truly awful actioner was written & directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, which is unusual, given that fact that he’s given us two hilarious films, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Movie and We’re the Millers. Thurber must’ve been asleep at the keyboard, because this film is something that only amateurs write. Loaded with plot holes the size of the Chrysler Bldg, inconceivable leaps of logic, boring and witless dialogue, and a recycled/stolen Die Hard/Towering Inferno storyline that boils down to just hi-tech stunt after hi-tech stunt. The characters are all two-dimensional and generic, nothing makes any sense in their decisions, and Thurber looked like he wasn’t even trying with his direction.
Even the CGI shots were laughable, a true sign of laziness. At least with Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage, it was over-the-top and dumb, but clearly entertaining, but THIS movie is more like his dreadful San Andreas. Epic fail. Here, Johnson is just another clichéd Mr. Barney Beefcake HeroMan with a hot wife, adorable kiddies, and one who takes out the bad guys. Just ONCE I’d like to see him be a lonely insurance guy, who doesn’t get the girl, and pretty much ruins the day by botching the job! Y’know, like the rest of us!