Monday saw this year’s Super Bowl and hand in hand with the big game are the big ads, and boy has it been a big one for trailers this year. Blockbusters, of course, hit the massive audience hard. Avengers: Infinity War, Mission Impossible, Han Solo, Jurassic Park, etc, all featured. This entire week has been packed with trailers, and not just from the Super Bowl itself—we’ve had even more trailers coming out in the days after the game as well, and it’s one of those that I want to talk about: Skyscraper. Whilst it did have a small spot during the game, the full trailer was shelved until the next day. Perhaps the trailer was too intense for the wide populace… or…. budget is tight. This movie looks like a mishmash, combining Towering Inferno with Die Hard and many other ‘rescue’ films and tropes. The trailer basically takes us by the hand and walks us through almost everything you need to know about this flick.
We start of with our main character getting suited up, he is of course played by The Rock. Really, it’s 2018 and it wouldn’t be a big budget action movie without The Rock headlining the action. He is remembering his days in the army until BANG!—white screen transition back to present day—leading to shock reveal. Our lead lost a leg in that bang (edgy). From here there is a lot of exposition. The trailer really tries to hand feed us a plotline that almost any cinemagoer could grasp with the first frame. Our lead is now a security/safety expert, and while on an important job, he and his family have been gifted an entire floor in the most advanced building in the world whilst he inspects the building. But then terrorists attack the building and start a fire, but the family are trapped above the fire line.
The trailer doesn’t explicitly show it, but I can already predict that he’s probably been framed for this ordeal, and he has to save his family and… okay, yeah… this could get a little convoluted. The trailer is very straightforward but suffers from a heavy amount of expositionitis—something that a ‘Dwayne the Rock Johnson fucks shit up in a building’ film really shouldn’t need. 40 seconds are spent just talking about the ‘The Pearl’, the super fancy skyscraper this all takes place in. Yes, it’s pretty—but do we really need an ad for this building?
The marketing for this flick is weird—it almost feels like the creators care more about the imaginary building that they have invented than the movie itself. Fun fact: when we received the trailer for this film, it came with a promotional mailer which was a link to a gif (see above) all about ‘The Pearl’. I appreciate the effort being put into the marketing (especially of the building)—it just feels weird that more attention has been paid to getting us to understand the building than the plot. But maybe that’s why, because at first glance the plot looks convoluted, but at the same time, simple—filled with tropes and reused ideas from older (and probably far better) films. Really, the marketing for this film is just hiding Dwayne Johnson’s new project in the shadows of a big fancy skyscraper.