In lieu of plot recap, which is the opening of my recap of the film’s marketing at The Hollywood Reporter, I will simply direct your attention to this Skyscraper-themed thread from Screencrush’s Matt Singer.
Online and Social
The movie’s official website opens with the trailer and when you close it there are big buttons encouraging you to watch it again or find out about the VR experience. In addition to the usual content like a gallery, story synopsis and so on, there’s a seperate site where you can Discover the Pearl, the hotel where the action takes place. There you can find out about the building’s construction and engineering, discover its eco-friendly features and more. That’s a nice feature that adds context to the story, helping anyone who’s checked it out have all that in mind.
Media and Publicity
There’s been an odd lack of publicity by Johnson and others for this release, strange considering the actor has so many movies coming out throughout the year that he’s pretty much constantly on the media circuit. Johnson and director Rawson Marshall Thurber talked in a joint interview about this movie and the state of Hollywood in general but there wasn’t a whole lot of other earned media happening.
If there’s any problem I have with the marketing, it’s that the nods to the kinds of 1970s disaster movies it wants to invoke are ill-placed. This movie has more in common with Die Hard than with The Towering Inferno, so it should have leaned more heavily in that direction. It’s a small nit to pick, but unless you’ve got a cast of 7-8 “that guy/woman” types who are also running around the burning building and dying off one-by-one as they find a way out, don’t go there.
PICKING UP THE SPARE
It was apparent in the film’s campaign, but the distinct lack of sense of humor was one (at least potential) reason the movie didn’t perform up to expectations at the box-office. While I haven’t seen it, the problem likely stems from how it adds the element of putting the hero’s wife and children in the middle of the action. That increases the stakes, but it also makes a wise-cracking protagonist odd and out of place. You’ll note that Die Hard, which the movie clearly was aspiring to be, avoided that.
Dwayne Johnson and director Rawson Marshall talk here about Neve Campbell’s character, who was all but missing completely from the campaign.
This is an interesting profile of Johnson and the clout he wields, including his formidable social media presence.
Also, the movie has come under some scrutiny as another example of Hollywood casting an able-bodied actor to play a disabled character, which is part of a bigger conversation around representation.
Costar Bryon Mann has received a bit more attention in the last few days, with a couple interviews that let him talk about his career, working in his home city of Hong Kong as well as the movie specifically.
Dwayne Johnson started making the late night talk show rounds in the last couple days, including an appearance on “Colbert.”