A glance through the summer movie schedules reveals one rather depressing common denominator: every single big budget release is a sequel — apart from one.
Dwayne Johnson cuts a solitary figure in that all-important late May to early August period — when movie-goers seek refuge from the heat in air-conditioned multiplexes — as the only star of an entirely original blockbuster.
Even “Skyscraper,” which hits US theatres on Friday, is something of a 1970s and 80s disaster movie pastiche, with Johnson walking — or climbing, much of the time — the well-worn path of the traditional action hero.
“I wanted to make a movie that was an homage to ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Towering Inferno,’ ‘The Fugitive,’ ‘Cliffhanger,’ movies like that,” the 46-year-old star said at the premiere in New York on Wednesday.
The Universal release casts the former wrestler as a retired amputee FBI hostage rescuer turned security expert who has to clear his name and snare the bad guys when the world’s tallest building goes up in flames in Hong Kong.
Men in tights
It’s been a tough few months for film fans desperate to see something a little more nuanced than giant robots and men in tights larruping each other repeatedly in mid-air.
“There are 11 sequels on either side of us in our corridor. Who really gets to say they are in an original movie that this brilliant mind created from scratch?” said “Skyscraper” producer Beau Flynn, gesturing down the arrivals line to writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber.
“Everything was created from his head and it is something that has to be admired, I think, by the audience, and hopefully supported. It’s very hard to do that at this scale in Hollywood today.”
“Avengers: Infinity War” and “Deadpool 2” kicked off the blockbuster season, although both were released before what most people think of as the peak period, when school’s out and kids are begging to see the latest Marvel or DC offering.
Since late May, we’ve…
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