Dwayne Johnson battles another towering inferno.
“No one churns out big-budget action mediocrity these days as regularly as Dwayne Johnson,” said Chris Nashawaty in Entertainment Weekly. Just three months after the onetime pro wrestler fueled Rampage, a monster flick based on a forgotten video game series, he’s back to save the day in a movie that “shamelessly” rips off Die Hard. Johnson plays Will Sawyer, an ex-FBI agent who travels to Hong Kong to assess the security of a new skyscraper. Soon, criminals with indeterminate accents hijack the tower, trapping Will’s wife and kids. But it’s Johnson who needs rescuing—“at least from starring in too many movies,” said Pamela McClintock in The Hollywood Reporter. Skyscraper had “embarrassing” box-office returns on opening weekend, and overexposure to Hollywood’s busiest actor could be to blame. Don’t count on it, said Steve Rose in TheGuardian.com. “Every era has had its reigning movie star, and Johnson is undoubtedly ours.” A multiethnic everyman with a superhuman physique, he’s funny and charismatic, and as our “last action hero”—the “rock-solid nucleus of popular culture”—he’s practically the only center America has left.