The Dwayne Johnson action thriller that was called a ‘Die Hard’ knockoff
(Credit: Netflix)

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The Dwayne Johnson action thriller that was called a ‘Die Hard’ knockoff

Rawson Marshall Thurber has solidified his golden position on Netflix time and again. If it isn’t We’re the Millers, then it is a Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson film collab that keeps rotating on the top ten films list on the streaming giant’s global charts.

Johnson may have a limited range, but he sure knows how to make bank playing the exact same persona in movies that eerily resemble one another in terms of look, feel, and sometimes even story. With Thurber, he has given three commercial hits from Central Intelligence to the horrid Netflix spy action thriller Red Notice

This time, the film that has skyrocketed to the fifth spot on Netflix US’s top ten list is Skyscraper, which, among other things, has been dubbed a Die Hard knockoff. The comparison is not far off because Thurber had confessed his inspiration for the film came from the action franchise and then some. “Die Hard, The Towering Inferno, Cliffhanger, The Fugitive, these were films that I deeply loved. Skyscraper is my love letter to those films,” Thurber told Movieweb.

Directed and penned by Thurber himself, whose previous works include hits like Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and We’re the Millers, Skyscraper marks his foray into the realm of high-octane action on a grand scale. Starring Dwayne Johnson in the lead role, Skyscraper follows the story of Will Sawyer, a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader turned security consultant. 

Hired to assess the safety of the world’s tallest skyscraper, The Pearl, situated in Hong Kong, Sawyer’s expertise is put to the ultimate test when terrorists set the building ablaze, framing him for the crime. With his family trapped inside the towering inferno, Sawyer must navigate a treacherous landscape of flames and foes to rescue his loved ones and clear his name.

While Skyscraper boasts enough adrenaline-fueled action sequences and Johnson’s trademark charisma, it fell short of replicating the gripping tension and iconic villainy of Die Hard. Despite its derivative elements, Skyscraper remains a passably enjoyable thrill ride, anchored by Johnson’s oddly comforting presence and Thurber’s adept direction. 

While Skyscraper does not reach the lofty heights of its predecessors, it offers a nostalgic homage to the golden age of action cinema while carving out its place in the pantheon of popcorn flicks. As Skyscraper continues to soar to the top of Netflix’s charts, it serves as a reminder: critics can hate the hammy all they want, but the hammy is here to stay. 

Whether scaling towering infernos or duking it out with terrorists, Johnson’s star power hasn’t dimmed yet. So, you can tune into Skyscraper on Netflix, but first, catch the trailer here: