Skyscraper (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Skyscraper 4K ReviewSkyscraper, which we are gathered here to discuss today, is NOT the rousing Demi Lovato song.  Instead, Skyscraper is the newest Dwayne Johnson action vehicle, which is now on home media.  I mean how much lull can we have without a new Rock movie packing retail shelves?  That was of course a very rhetorical question.  The answer to that is simply not much at all.  The Rock is back and this time he’s playing Die Hard in a very tall building occupied by terrorists with a slight “twist.”  He has a twist off lower left leg!  Now you cannot say this is the same old kind of movie The Rock is always in or they didn’t give his character a flaw.  If nothing else, Skyscraper is the film that puts The Rock at a slight physical disadvantage, but not too much where he can’t make huge, gaping horizontal/vertical leaps or use his artificial stump as an effective prop.  There are limits, people.  If nothing else, think San Andreas 2.0 with a happier marriage.

Skyscraper 4K review


Disclaimer: Yes I know this film score is high, but even after two repeat viewings for this review I still have fun with it so that ups the ante despite the absurdity of it all.  And now we returned to our regular broadcast review down below…

Skyscraper was both written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, We’re The Millers, Central Intelligence).  So if you’re keeping score, this is his second team-up with Dwayne Johnson.  He’s also re-teaming with him again for another picture coming soon (part of the effort to keep a Dwayne Johnson movie in the theater all year round).  In addition to The Rock Skyscraper stars the comeback of Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber and Hannah Quinlivan.  The story follows The Rock’s character (duh!), a former FBI agent, who apparently is having a very bad day.  He must not only rescue his family from the tallest skyscraper in the world after it is taken over by terrorists, but oh yeah the building is on fire too.

So here’s what all goes down.  Will Sawyer (Johnson) is both a former FBI Hostage Rescue Taker and a U.S. veteran.  As I already established he’s also an amputee missing the lower half of his left leg.  In present day he assesses security for you guessed it skyscrapers.  His newest job assignment brings him overseas internationally where he finds himself presented with the world’s supposedly safest and tallest building (tallest building being synonymous with the term skyscraper).  But wait!  The building is on fire.  What’s worse is he’s been framed for it all.  He’s now a fugitive on the run that must clear his name.  But wait again!  There’s more!  What’s even worse than that is the fact that his family is being held hostage by terrorists in said building, which again in case you forgot just so happens to be on fire.  His family is being held above the fire line, which started on the 96th floor.  The really crappy part though is our hero is not even in said building yet, but he needs to be…enter the crane scene you’ve all seen before in the trailers.

Sounds crazy, huh?  It is!  And so I was gravely mistaken about what I said up above.  This is nothing like Die Hard.  It’s Die Hard dialed to ten or  Die Hard meets Crank.  You decide.  It’s absolute lunacy, exhilarating and heart pounding all in the same breath.  I hate heights very much in real life, and rightfully so this movie originally made me twitch in writhing agony in my theater seat.  Normally agony is a bad thing for anybody, but in this review it’s a good thing for me.  I got vertigo just watching this (can’t even think how heart pounding this must be on a huge IMAX screen) and every slip, fall and miss grab made me wince that much more.  That hardly ever happens to me so I can’t tell you how much I love feeling like I’m part of a action movie like this.  I know it sounds super cheesy, but Skyscraper, shoddy screenplay and all, makes me feel like I am front and center within this high rise thrill ride.  What an absolute blast!

I guess what it all boils down to is Skyscraper is pure, scrappy fun.  It never takes itself too seriously and it never declares I am a contender on a Die Hard level because it’s not.  It’s pure cheese and lives up to its spectacular stunts as originally shown in the trailers.  Basically, it delivers and you get what you paid for here.  How can you possibly argue anything wrong with that?  It doesn’t have to be brilliant, it just has to be fun, rousing and engaging.  Skyscraper is thankfully all those.  It was great to see Neve Campbell not only back on the big screen, but also getting in on the action.   Newcomer Hannah Quinlivan also made things super fun in a bad girl, Ruby Rose kind of way.   As usual though Johnson is a big, raging bull full of wild charisma and there’s no way not to like him here.  You initially feel bad for him with his limp, but I’m happy to see a scrappy, flawed Rock any day who doesn’t always prevail in every skirmish.  He gets his butt handed to him multiple times here, but it’s the zany ways in which he prevails out of certain scenarios that will keep you guessing throughout your first viewing.  And because I don’t want to spoil the fun for you all here that’s all I’ll say.  Check your brain at the door, let loose and have fun.  You did it for San Andreas so do it again here with Skyscraper!

Skyscraper 4K


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Universal’s Skyscraper.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • HDR: Yes
  • Size: BD-100
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Despite the many dark and dimly lit scenes the detail is pretty “rock” solid here.  You’ll see the little people details you;’re accustomed to with no problems like pores, wrinkles, stubbles and scars.  However, there are moments of softness too that take away from fine details at time.  Of course any overuse of CG for explosions, etc. doesn’t help the case, but I actually have no problems with them here.  Textures in building materials, debris and clothing all looked fine, but for some reason I just wasn’t completely blown away by it all.  There’s a lot of darkness to sift through here.
  • Depth: You can probably guess without even seeing this yet that the depth of field here is going to be remarkable given the subject matter revolves around heights.  While the 4K disc presentation here wasn’t as remarkable as my theatrical experience it’s still quite awesome to see the depth in the city skyline.  Heights of course still all look high.  However, it’s the view in the Pearl’s sphere that wins me over still here.  The CG moments play out a bit like San Andreas for me.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are not artificially inky or glossy.  Instead they are very natural, but also very dark.  Thankfully nothing really ever gets lost in the shadows here.  Also I want to pay homage to the many nighttime sequences here.  They look amazing with the contrast of lights, technologies and these red-blue police sirens on cars strobing the area.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors pop in the light and outdoor scenes, but for the most they’re pretty subdued coming across very natural for the most part. Like I said before there’s a lo of darkness shrouding his picture so the fire, explosions and light are very welcomed throughout.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones for the most part look natural and authentic throughout.  I did notice some warmness here or there,
  • Noise/Artifacts: Things look outstanding here from the standpoint of noise in the picture with no consistent, nasty artifacts to ruin your viewing enjoyment of the presentation here.

Skyscraper 4K review


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Universal’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Skyscraper.  I do want you to know that both the  4K UHD and 1080p Blu-ray Discs come armed with a booming Dolby Atmos surround track.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish and French Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: There’s nothing wrong with the dynamics of the Dolby Atmos track here at all.  For some reason it just feels mixed a little lower like a Disney release, but not that awful.  I had turn my receiver up a little more than my normal movie listening mark.  Other than that things are very fine here.  The presentation is wide, prioritized and directional throughout when it needs to be and bombastic when all hell is breaking lose.  Nothing gets lost in the mix.  That includes the tender family moments, which is important as this one does start off a bit slow until it gets going.  However, once it does buckle up as you’re in store for a wild romp here.
  • Height: The Atmos height channels make themselves known in moments like the following, but not limited to: gunshots fired up, fire spreading upwards, smoke alarms buzzing, sirens hollering, sprinklers pouring down, helicopters twirling, things crumbling from ceilings above and so much more.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofers work overtime here sometimes as first and foremost this one sounds like a disaster film in it’s fiery and explosive second half.  LFE moments include deep bass in the heavy hitting score at times, fights, action sequences, fire ripping through causing ultimate destruction and of course the many explosions and bombastic blasts.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: I kind of hinted at things up above which you would normally find in this category of surround sound discussion points, but I left out radio transmissions, voices and dialogue, sirens and most importantly holy hell…fire storms.  The sound of the fire ripping through this one immerses you in the middle of it all.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: While there are some quiet moments here and there when explosions and fire balls are not hurling the dialogue is always intelligible and clear, albeit just slightly a tad soft for my ultimate liking.

Skyscraper 4K review


Skyscraper releases on the 4K ultra HD Blu-ray format with over 30 minutes of never-before-seen bonus content, which includes deleted scenes, an audio commentary, exclusive bonus clips and more.  In addition to all of that you also get to enjoy the tall building thriller anywhere you go digitally with the enclosed, redeemable code via Movies Anywhere.  I won’t waste anymore of your time.  Let’s deep dive into the extras here down below, which are all found on both the 4K UHD and 1080p Blu-ray Discs.

  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Rawson Marshall Thurber (SDR, 12:10) – Go behind the scenes with Dwayne Johnson and the rest of the cast of Skyscraper in the following: Opening Park Scene With Sawyer Family, Dead Body In The Bathtub, Zhao and Pierce Discuss The Fire In The Pearl, Wu & Han Discuss Will Sawyer- Cantonese And English and Try Hard.  For your convenience there’s a Play All selectable option too.
  • Extended Scenes with Commentary by Director Rawson Marshall Thurber (SDR, 10:18) – The following extended scenes can be found here: Farm House Opening (complete with Universal logo and all), Bag Steal, Xia Blows Up The Off-Site Facility, Park Fire With Boiling Water and Sand Barge Shootout.  For your convenience there’s also a Play All selectable option here too.
  • Dwayne Johnson: Embodying a Hero (SDR, 4:04) – Here you’ll briefly go behind the scenes to see what it took for Dwayne Johnson to bring the intense character of Will Sawyer to life.  Johnson says this is a character unlike any he has ever played before.  The cast and crew really gives him kudos here.
  • Inspiration (SDR, 4:12) – In this extra you’ll meet real life amputee and motivational speaker Jeff Glasbrenner, the inspiration for Dwayne Johnson’s role of Will Sawyer.  See how Jeff’s consultations helped inform Dwayne’s character from day one.  Dwayne says this is one of the most demanding roles he had to play and he wanted to make sure he nailed this challenge as an amputee.  It was very motivational quick watch.
  • Opposing Forces (SDR, 2:35) – There’s no holding back as the women of Skyscraper get in on the action.  Now, see first-hand what it took for Neve Campbell and Hannah Quinlivan to be fight ready.  I really do love the cat fight sequence in the back seat of the constrained cop car.
  • Friends No More (SDR, 3:21) – When Dwayne Johnson and Pablo Schreiber met face to face, they immediately knew what they were up against.  Witness first-hand the making of the intense apartment fight between two former on-screen friends, Will and Ben.  This is the point in the movie where the action finally kicks in and you know they mean business.
  • Kids in Action(SDR, 2:40) – In Skyscraper everyone gets in on the action, even the Sawyer children.  Here you’ll go on set with Noah Cottrell and McKenna Roberts to discover the moves behind their stunts.  The Rock jokes about the nationwide search for Johnson and Campbell’s fictional offspring together.
  • Pineapple Pitch (SDR, 1:38) – In this very quick extra you’ll hear first-hand from Dwayne Johnson how writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber pitched him the idea of Skyscraper.  It may be a little fruitier than you think.  It involves a pineapple and a middle finger.  That’s all I’m saying.
  • Feature Commentary by Director Rawson Marshall Thurber – This one needs no introduction.  If you’re a fan of the film, you’re going to want to invest some time here.  It cracks me up how right from the beginning he thanks you for listening to this since many don’t.  It was fun to hear of his Sylvester Stallone inspiration here from the movie Cliffhanger.  Love it!  I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to spoil the film for y’all.

Skyscraper 4K


So unlike the image up above no one is holding a gun to your head telling you to buy Skyscraper.  It’s completely absurd like San Andreas was, but it’s the F-U-N in all the absurdity that wins me over not to mention the Rock’s winning charisma.  While the audio and video are not completely reference, it’s still a very nice looking and sounding 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation with some extras to boot with an audio commentary.  How many releases nowadays can say that?  I have now seen Skyscraper three times and like San Andreas (sorry for the many comparisons to it) it’s a sloppy, good time to be had.  Your mileage may vary is all I’m saying here.  If you’re a fan of Dwayne Johnson and his larger than life charisma, by all means pick this up to see him play one of his most challenging roles yet.  It’s good stuff!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.



Wields A Giant Sword On

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

October 9th




Skyscraper 4K Cover


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

1 Response to “Skyscraper (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Wilfredo

    I’m agree with you, Brian: it’s the F-U-N in all the absurdity that wins me over. Not all movies has to be an academy material. I love this and San Andreas.