Former FBI rescue team leader Will Sawyer is now a security consultant tasked with assessing a new super-skyscraper in Hong Kong. With his family living on the 96th floor, all seems well. During his final inspection, criminals set the building on fire and frame him for it. Trapped in a facility one mile away, he must evade the police and get into the burning building to save his wife and children. As the true plot is exposed, he finds himself the only thing standing in the way of a ruthless extortionist.
2018, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 43 mins
Dolby Atmos, TrueHD 7.1, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
This is a fun disaster flick, perfectly suited for Dwayne Johnson’s talents. I’ve seen many of his films and his acting chops seem to improve with each new release. This time, he is very convincing as a vulnerable ex-FBI commando. He tries to avoid violence and you won’t confuse Will Sawyer with Hobbs from the Fast & Furious series. The Rock actually has a tender side. The action begins with little delay as the bad guys set fire to the 96th floor of a massive skyscraper that exists only in CGI form. It’s quite the technical achievement, luckily without a self-aware AI to control it. Once Sawyer starts his rescue plan, you’ll be on the edge of your seat. It’s a thrilling ride all the way to the finish. The bad guys are sufficiently nasty without resorting to excessive gory violence. There’s a good deal of gunplay but blood spatter is minimal. This is one for a weekend movie night with friends, lots of popcorn, and the volume turned up high.
Image quality is solid with sharp detail and seamless integration of live and CGI elements. Blacks are very deep and occasionally obscure fine shadow detail. I saw a few instances of the floating head effect where character’s clothing disappeared into the background. Color is rich and natural with plenty of reds and oranges in the fire sequences which are completely convincing.
Audio is the star of this release with a dynamic Dolby Atmos encode. I experienced it in TrueHD 5.1 and was impressed. Sound effects have lots of impact with heavy use of the subwoofer and surround channels. The music is dominated by low brass and primal percussion which is in your face throughout the film.
Bonus features include six short subjects along with deleted scenes and audio commentary by director Rawson Marshall Thurber