Geography Class

Not great. Needed a smaller building.
Reported on 15th of July, 2018

Well I saw a bad film with The Rock in it, and I’m sad about that. I went to see Skyscraper! (author’s exclamation point) based entirely on the poster and the fact that I hadn’t heard a thing about it. The Rock has been in the only entertaining films of the last two years, so why not?

Despite the fact that he has a prosthetic leg throughout, it’s still not good. I won’t belabor the belaboring, but it’s an interesting lesson in too much. Released on the 30th anniversary of its better Die Hard, it is a film that simply needed less.

The MacGuffin – that the guy has all the data on the evil Triad types that blackmailed him so he could build the tallest skyscraper in the world – is one of the limpest I’ve seen, and MacGuffins by nature are not especially compelling. Data can be copied. I’ve read that somewhere. Technically, you’re reading it right now. You’re not copying it, but still.


12 July 2018 @ The Gaumont Rennes

$1.20 or, if one must be quotidian, and one must... 
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


Here is one point I did want to make. There is a protracted xerox of the final sequence The Lady from Shanghai as the high-tech penthouse is revealed to have…yeah…high tech TVs that simulate the hall of mirrors of that film. This serves only to remind us that Mr. Welles’ film wasn’t that good but was still better than this. The climax – very eventually – takes place here, and it’s exactly as interesting as Mr. Welles’ and then Mr. Woody Allen’s polaroid years later in A Manhattan Murder Mystery – great for film nerds, not so much for audiences.

Though I miss the Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup, I’m glad to say I took the second to last Kinder Bueno cone. Saved the last to survive the considerably worse Unsane. We’ll get to that.

Why? Geography. Action plays in the wide, something this film seems hell-bent on proving by hammering how the inverse does not work. To enjoy a sequence, you have to see – and know – what’s going on. The giant building, CGI’d and unfamiliar, gives us no tension because at any minute elevators can appear and save them, just as falling trees (there’s a giant garden as huge wind turbines that – *cough* 2nd Law of Thermodynamics *cough* – generate the power for the entire building. That’s the problem with science in real life. It needs more science) can separate children from other children with asthma allowing villains to take other elevators…anyway, you get the idea.

To demonstrate, there’s a perfectly implausible yet nice sequence where The Rock must gain access to said skyscraper via a construction crane. To do this he runs the hook cable back and forth, causing the cable to swing like a pendulum. The thoughtful use of Newtonian motion is strangely comforting and, durst one assert, fun.

Unfortunately from there unto excess. The mirror scene is just one of people yelling at each other and occasionally shooting each other by accident. Yes, I’m aware that’s like real life. The rest is just unfamiliarity that the film must explain and then have the characters resolve, like the crew of the Enterprise needing to reverse a tri-port cascade failure…and then doing it. Would have been a pretty good film, if the building was a mere – and familiar – twenty stories high. Less is better.

Less can’t be more. It’s the 2nd law of Thermodynamics.

The Take

The one sequence
Total Profits!
The Rock is my only source of cinematic pleasure this year, so only minimal discounts. Plus, talk about low expectations —
Please stop putting Mr. Pablo Schreiber in films as the guy who turns out to be the Friend Who Betrays The Lead. Just use Mr. Ben Foster
Don’t use this as a reason to hire Mr. Foster
Mr. Schreiber keeps his knives in the dishwasher. Yes, it’s for the big fight sequence, but DON’T DO THAT. It’s really bad for maintaining the edge.
The extremely odd ending which involves —
Turning the building on and off. I guess they couldn’t find any boxes to load
and The Rock, in slow motion, unable to find his family. At first, he can’t. Then…he can! Cue the soulful strains of the rhyme: ‘I will be your savior, running through the flames-yeah’
Total Losses
Sorry. That lyric counts as a plus.


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