[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Disclaimer: call him "Dwayne Johnson" all you want, friend; he'll always be "The Rock" to me.

An opening scene tells the tragic tale of our hero, Will Sawyer: confronting a crazed Minnesota husband, he makes a merciful, humane, but also very bad mistake, causing the loss of limb (his) and life (probably a lot of the other people involved, but that's not explicitly shown). He winds up marrying the brilliant and beautiful doctor who saves his life. (I don't recommend this as a good strategy for meeting women.)

Ten years later, he's a security consultant, he has two cute kids, he's invited to Hong Kong to inspect a (guess what) new skyscraper, the tallest building in the world, filled with imaginative architecture and high-tech gadgetry. Unfortunately, the zillionaire builder is also the target of a well-oiled extortion plot carried out by a team of casually-murderous henchmen, and one henchwoman.

I liked it fine. But it's a by-the-numbers, no-surprises, big-budget thriller. It's like an AI was given the script for Die Hard and The Towering Inferno and was told: "Mix these up." And hence you can see a lot of things, big and small, coming:

  • There are bad guys who have infiltrated the zillionaire's inner circle. For the viewer, they might as well be wearing "I AM A BAD GUY" buttons on their lapels.
  • That murderous henchwoman? Of course, there will be a final confrontation between her and Will's wife.
  • That cute scene where Will "fixes" the Mrs's phone by turning it off and on again. Will that be replayed later? Sure.
  • The skyscraper is partially powered by huge internal wind turbines, the blades whooshing impressively. Will Will be dodging those blades later? You bet!
  • Will is shown (for some reason) a holodeck-like virtual reality chamber with dozens of huge high-def screens. Also a key plot mover later? Need you ask?

As a reviewer pointed out: the primary bad guy is no Alan Rickman.

Although the movie did poorly in American theatres, a lot of foreign audiences are apparently Rockhounds, so it did OK overall.