Dir: Rawson Marshall Thurber
*ing: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Roland Moller, Byron Mann, Chin Han, Elfina Luk, Hannah Quinlivan, Adrian Holmes, Beatrice King,
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a pretty decent track record of delivering brainless summer popcorn fun (even outside The Fast And The Furious franchise) with recent films like Rampage, San Andreas, and the Jumanji reboot. So you walk into Skyscraper expecting a reasonably harmless entertainer (at the minimum) but you walk out feeling you’ve just wasted 100 minutes of your life which you’ll never get back.
The movie takes its cues from (much better) movies like Die Hard, The Towering Inferno, The Fugitive and Enter The Dragon (the influence of at least the first three Johnson has acknowledged in interviews) as former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader Will Ford (Dwayne Johnson) is brought into assesses the security for the tallest skyscraper in the world built in Hong Kong. But the building is overrun by a group of international mercenaries and set on fire with Will being framed for the blaze while his wife (Neve Campbell) and kids are trapped inside. Will now must rescue his family while also somehow clearing his own name. All well and good but the plot is so patently ridiculous in its details and the stunts so completely at odds with the laws of physics that rather than catching your breath (though there are a couple of such moments) at the action sequences you find yourself exhaling in exasperation. The only really positive I can think of is the agency given Neve Campbell’s Sarah, an ex-army combat surgeon and linguist (!). And while it’s also obvious that the movie is catering to the Asian market it’s nice to see its casting of various Chinese/Hong Kong stars.
Cut to chase: Ridiculous plot and complete improbable stunts pull this down.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation ***
Dir: Genndy Tartakovsky
*ing: (Voices of) Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Kathryn Hahn, David Spade, Fran Drescher, Jim Gaffigan, Kevin James, Mel Brooks, Molly Shannon, Tara Strong
The Hotel Transylvania franchise isn’t at the cutting edge of animated features in any way – either script or animation wise – and skew towards the younger end of the market but the movies are cute, provide decent laughs and are amiable good fun for the family.
And so it is with the third entry in the series, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation in which Count Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) decides to surprises her father with a family voyage on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship. She thinks he’s been working too hard and so needs a holiday but he’s actually lonely having not even gone on a date since Mavis’ mother passed away. So when Drac sees the ship’s captain, Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) he zings (“it’s a monster thing”) and falls for her. While Drac’s pack (The Frankenstein Monster, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, Drac’s dad, etc. are all in favour of the budding romance Mavis is afraid of losing her father . Plus, Ericka is also hiding a secret.
The movie zips along at a decent pace and is peppered with enough amusing moments and catchy musical numbers (set to well-known pop hits) to keep you reasonably entertained. The younger ones in the theatre seemed particularly delighted.
Cut to chase: Harmless fun for the whole family especially the younger ones.
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Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only *** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection