Under the Radar

'Skyscraper': Dwayne Johnson Aims to Make His Own 'Die Hard'

(Universal Pictures)

"Skyscraper" (out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD) is exactly the movie it wants to be, a CGI-heavy cross between "Die Hard" and "The Towering Inferno" that hinges on an obvious technical support joke. The building is awesome and Dwayne Johnson, as usual, makes it all work.

He's also well aware that he's making a nod to "Die Hard," as he tries to rescue his family from the burning building and derail the evil plot from foreign terrorists. Since this movie is set in Hong Kong, the foreign terrorist is a white European who wants to erase a drive that contains evidence of money laundering. In one of the movie's key scenes, Dwayne insists they have to trade the drive for his daughter.

In this outtake included in the home video release, Dwayne makes the "Die Hard" joke that everyone on the set has been silently making in their heads.

Dwayne plays a veteran and former FBI tactical operator who lost part of his leg in an explosion after a failed hostage rescue. There's a lot of business with his seemingly indestructible prosthetic leg as he works his way through the crisis.

Neve Campbell plays the beautiful Navy trauma surgeon who saves Dwayne's life after the explosion. She marries him, so he trades a leg for a family and thinks he came out okay.

Pablo Schreiber (Kris Paronto in "13 Hours," "The Wire," "Orange is the New Black") plays his former FBI partner who hires Dwayne to check out security for The Pearl, the world's tallest building set to open in Hong Kong.

Pablo, who disagreed with the tactics in that fateful raid, is badly scarred from the explosion that took Dwayne's leg. Has he forgiven his partner for that incident?

There's a lot of commentary from writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber. Thurber, best known for comedy, also made "Central Intelligence" with Johnson and got his start with the cult classic "Dodgeball." "Skyscraper" is not a comedy, but it's definitely sly in the style of those '90s action flicks that everyone involved here must've loved when they were kids.

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