Welcome to Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. In each episode I go with a different comedian to see a movie and then we head to the closest coffee shop to chat about it over the internet. Yes it is a podcast, you just have to read it instead of listen to it. As always, you can catch up on all the other episodes here. Even better, consider supporting the podcast by subscribing!
I met Patrick at the AMC Loews Village 7 Theatre on 3rd Ave and 11th St. After buying our tickets Patrick told me that he would only do this podcast on the condition that I allow him to get a "Big ICEE." After the movie, which was incidentally screened on the top floor of this Skyscraper-esque movie theatre, we walked to The Bean on 3rd Ave and 9th St to discuss our feelings. Patrick got a large cold brew and I got a large iced green tea.
Dan: Hi Patrick! Thank you so much for joining me today on Dan Glaser's Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. We have so much work to get done before the grand opening of the residential zone of this coffee shop opens, but first a simple question: Who does Daddy love?
Patrick: Daddy loves me! I'm just really vibing with the Three Doors Down playing right now.
Dan: I'll keep you by my side with my superhuman might, Skyscraper!
Before you saw this movie, what did you know about it? I just have to ask because I wonder if there is anyone who possibly could see this movie and have it meet their expectations.
Patrick: I remember the trailer generally, but it was mostly focused on The Jump From The Crane. I don't know if I knew what the driving force behind the plot was. I had a vague sense that he had to help his family, but I think I thought it was a natural disaster type thing, not a sinister plot.
Dan: Oh interesting. The real terrorist is...Earth?
Patrick: And I didn't have any particular expectations other than The Rock Fights A Building, which admittedly were not met. But that's on me.
Dan: Exactly! For a movie called Skyscraper you would assume the Skyscraper would be more of a character.I literally just wanted: Tall Bio-Dome. "He sure caused some ire in that spire."
Patrick: I'd just like to note that "skyscraper" is such a cool word to describe a tall building. So kudos to whoever popularized that. But yeah we really didn't get enough about the park inside the building. I want to know more about that. I want to follow the building staff around.
Dan: Right? Could you imagine how much better this movie would have been if The Rock had to fight through different zones? Like show me a knife fight in the waterfall floor and then they fall through into a Best Buy and then all of a sudden the zoo floor locks come loose...
This tower had no excuse to not be 200 floors of Snowpiercer cars.
Patrick: Put 👏 the 👏 zoo 👏 in 👏 the 👏 skyscraper
Dan: A 👏 skyscraper 👏 can 👏 look 👏 like 👏 anything
Patrick: Also would've been better if it was already inhabited. Weird rich tenants. It would've affected the plot a little, but let's face it, the underpinning for why The Rock as Chris Williams (? I already forgot his generic name) is in the titular skyscraper was already flimsy.
Dan: I think his name was Tom Brady? Bill Brasky?
Patrick: The time honored action movie tradition of instantly forgettable names because you're just gonna call the guy the actor's name anyway. A good nod to film history. Only Schwarzenegger had notable names that I can think of. John Matrix. Jericho Kane. And they never explained why the sheriff of a small town, Mike Slater or whatever, was Austrian. AND THAT'S HOW WE LIKED IT.
Dan: Totally. And I would say that specifically, this movie honors Die Hard, True Lies, and of course, The Rundown.
Patrick: I'm a strong Rundown proponent. The Rundown is extremely predictive of the Rock's whole deal. And Seann William Scott got SCREWED.
Dan: "Uh uh. Not this man's pintu. No way." That is a classic line from the Rundown, a movie that is better than Skyscraper in every way except it doesn’t have as many smartwatches.
Patrick: *furiously swipes at watch and watch somehow does what you want*
Dan: In Skyscraper, The Rock plays the world's largest Small Business Owner.
Patrick:The Rock (Skyscraper version and also probably real life version) voted for Trump.
Dan: The stage is set. Should we get started? Let's begin a The Rundown of what happens. We open in front of a snowy...Minnesota (?) cabin by the lake.
Patrick: Herc from Friday Night Lights is being oppressed by the government. Can't a man just murder his family in peace?
Dan: There is a tense hostage negotiation with more military gear and personnel than the Bin Laden raid. More like Zero Dark Thirty Stories Up, folks.
Patrick: The Rock and his right hand man Nick Sobotka are on it.
Dan: Anyway Herc blows everyone up and you and I both wondered why Nicky Sobotka got blown up in the first scene and gee I wonder if he will show up later and be a bad guy now.
Patrick: That's never happened in an action movie before. So it was unusual.
Dan: This cold (snowy) open did literally nothing for me and I'm truthfully confused why it was in the movie at all? It shows us nothing about The Rock's character. Truly nothing.
Patrick: Yeah they could've just made The Rock a Troop, explaining his missing leg that way.
Dan: God I love the troops.
Patrick: Neve Campbell was a Troop. (Also voted for Trump. Probably not in real life though, I think she's Canadian)
Dan: Absentee then. After the house explosion, the Rock seduces (off camera) his um, Doctor? Nurse? Orderly? Played of course, by Neve.
Patrick: Surgeon. She was a Naval Surgeon I think they said. I assume that's a thing.
Dan: Like for belly buttons? If you want your outie upgraded to an innie, she's your man.
Patrick: That is correct. Not to outie shame, but you want an innie. Someone fucked up with the umbilical cord if you've got an outie.
I assume she normally operates on ships, but The Rock is large enough that he qualified. He spent his time recuperating in dry dock.
Dan: It costs the government $2.2 billion just to make one The Rock. And people in Flint still don’t have clean water. [as of the time of this posting - ed.]
Patrick: Can we make a stylistic choice and not capitalize the The in front of Rock? Or should we show him the proper amount of respect. I'm definitely not calling him Dwayne Johnson. Dwayne. C'mon. You're The Rock, forever.
Dan: Mmm good question. What about Rock, The.
Patrick:Rocky Maivia. Anyway, so this skyscraper, it's really something.
Dan: Wait also in The Rundown doesn’t he play a, ahem, ex-football player turned bodyguard who wants to be a chef?
Patrick: He does. His whole deal is that he wants Piney from Sons of Anarchy to let him open a restaurant. His name is Chris in that movie. Imagine calling The Rock "Chris".
Dan: I think technically if you need a design team, a project manager and a site coordinator to build your shirts, you can't go by a human name.
Patrick: Wait no his name is Beck.
Dan: That's better.
Patrick: I just looked it up. Maybe it's Chris Beck? I am having a real crisis here. Where did Chris come from?
Dan: Whats his name on Ballers? Chris Ballers?
Patrick:I'm googling The Rock Chris in a panic.
Dan: Oh you mean The Chris Rock.
Patrick: I'm just getting standup specials and the poster for I Think I Love My Wife.
Dan: You better. (this is a very funny joke if you saw Skyscraper)
Patrick: Okay, he was Chris in Walking Tall. I figured it out. That movie is like 78 minutes long. It's the perfect plane movie
Dan: I completely forgot that Walking Tall and The Rundown are two different movies. The way you can remember it is that in Walking Tall he carries a big 2 by 4 at one point. Unless that's in The Rundown?
Patrick: The 2 x 4 is A Thing in walking Tall, but he may use a big stick in The Rundown too.
Dan: Skyscraper more like Limping Tall. Am I right?
Patrick:I wish Kevin Durand was in Skyscraper. He's one of my all time favorite Guys You Can't Wait To See Get Killed.
Dan: Okay, so, Rocky and Neve Campbell fall in love (off screen) and we fast forward a decade or so, enough time for them to give birth to two beautiful McGuffin Children.
Patrick: That's right. Two future linebackers for the Steelers.
Dan: They are living in a Nice Apartment and he is getting ready for a Big Job Interview.
Patrick: Slight correction: I believe they are already in The Skyscraper at that point. As part of the job interview, they get to stay in The Skyscraper.
Dan: Oh right! But also! We forgot the EXTREMELY LONG montage of news footage about this fucking skyscraper. Some highlights: it's 3 times taller than the empire State building.
Patrick: The building is quite large.
Dan: It is somehow self powered from uh, two wind turbines.
Patrick: If you think the turbines might end up being a videogame style timing obstacle, you're right. Or are you?
Dan: Exactly. This movie does the thing that action movies do where they very clearly lay out all the little details that will be used later for fun action pranks, fight pranks and dialogue payoffs. There are a lot in the beginning. This montage has plenty. Even more to come, especially when we meet the family.
I just wish the montage also said something like, "This building is so tall it almost scrapes the sky. Fans around the world are calling it...Skyscraper."
Patrick: Chekhov would be proud, except for the overall product. But the plotting, he'd appreciate.
Dan: Ya he would love all the fucking guns too.
Patrick: Guns play a surprisingly small role in this film. I don't think Chris (? The Rock. I'm going with Chris again here) even touches one. But then again, he said he “doesn't like them.” I think.
Dan: Oh yeah. He literally says, and I wrote this down: "I haven't used a gun in 10 years. I kind of put my sword down."
Later he chops a guy up with a sword, which is nice.
Patrick: Yeah that's an aggressive mixed metaphor just like, within three words. "I'm gonna need you to do the work here to equate the sword to the gun."
Dan: "Security is a game of baseball. When you hold the keys you are the Goalie. And me? I'm the Queen Bee.”
Patrick: Crystal clear. So anyway, Nick Sobotka resurfaces, and he's been doing that famous ex-military activity of Being A Bad Guy For Money.
Dan: Hell yeah. We meet the fam. We learn that Daddy loves you, and we find out that "Ben" Sobotka is really sticking his neck out to get the Rock this job interview.
Patrick: He was next to Herc’s explosive vest when it went off, which we know because he has some makeup on his neck.
Dan: It's wild that he survived at all. I wanted him to step out of the elevator and just be a head on a Roomba.
Patrick: Do we think everyone else on the team is dead? Obviously they're not important because they aren't played by Famous Guys.
Dan: I assume the entire FBI exploded which is the only explanation (since none is given) of why The Rock no longer works there.
Patrick: "Missing half a leg? Get the hell out of here!"
Dan: “I want your badge and your gun and your leg on my desk, Sawyer!”
Patrick: Sawyer wasn't even that guy's name, he took the name of the con man who made his dad murder suicide his mom. Pretty wild stuff.
Dan: Daddy loves you freckles.
Patrick: Now I am going to watch that show for the entire night.
Dan: It holds up if you fall asleep before season 2. Anyway, The Rock aces the interview, which is...a powerpoint about how safe the building is?
Patrick: Yeah he Knows The System. This will come in handy later.
Dan: Oh jesus, yes! You mentioned this to me but this movie does a very smart thing where they say that "He knows the building better than the architect."
Patrick: So then you just buy everything later, because they said it. They get to define the rules.
Dan: Hell yeah. This allows The Rock to literally know every single panel behind every pillar and every shortcut to every nook and cranny.
Patrick: And that's just good storytelling, to me.
Dan: The CEO of Skyscraper, who we will call...The Money Launderer from Dark Knight, is showing off his new building to the insurance company. The Rock is here to document how good and secure everything is. The last step, and our next BIG MCGUFFIN, is this fucking ipad.
Patrick: The Rock has the Android Tablet.
Dan: Do you want to explain what this ipad is, and what it does, and why it makes sense that things work this way?
Patrick: Honestly I’m surprised it isn't branded, seems like a slam dunk. Well, the Android Tablet has access to The System, which The Rock, as we've established, Knows. And somehow it is also the ONLY way to access The System. So I guess The Rock got the job.
Dan: Hahaha. Yes they hand this giant IT Support Man the keys to the skyscraper and tell him to go check out “the offsite.” The ipad is wild. Why did they give him the ipad? It is TOO POWERFUL.
Patrick: It turns out to be a good decision because he IS trustworthy.
Dan: Narratively the ipad it is more powerful than the Infinity Gauntlet, and just as problematic for storytelling.
Patrick: Fortunately the skyscraper CEO has two powerful assistants that he can totally trust. Including a recognizable British guy who has been in other stuff, but will probably not end up playing a meaty role in this, such as a betrayer.
Dan: Yes the CEO surrounds himself with friends and allies: A security guard and an evil insurance worm face bad guy.
Patrick: I can't believe Charlie's Dad from the Johnny Depp Wonka movie would do this.
Dan: Okay so cousin Nicky and The Rock get on a boat to go to the last security checkpoint, but not before Nicky send an EVIL TEXT MESSAGE.
Patrick: He has a thread with Unknown. Which must be what this person is labeled in his contacts as, because you can't do that. He's actually texting Q, about the pedophile ring. That's the undercurrent of this movie, the bad guys are actually good and The Rock is bad.
Dan: Or a tinder / bumble / grindr contact he doesn't want his wife to see. Either way I thought, wow, this guy is not subtle! And keep in mind this was before the scene coming up when he LITERALLY pulls a gun on the Rock and says the words, "I SET YOU UP!"
Patrick:That big reveal is because The Rock didn't keep the Android Tablet in his bag like he was supposed to, which got stolen. He put it in his jacket (?) which must have huge pockets. When you're The Rock's size, I assume an iPad Mini equivalent Android Tablet can fit in a lapel pocket.
Dan: He has a box of Tic Tacs bigger than your Macbook. But that's right. some random parkour dude steals The Rock’s briefcase on the boat and runs away with it. Mission accomplished for Nicky. He thinks he is now in possession of the tablet! But no, The Rock's giant clothing saves the day again.
Patrick: "We have acquired The Story Item."
Dan: Nicky pulls a gun on him, yadda yadda yadda, we get a fight scene and then what? I literally forgot. Also: why would people try to fight The Rock?
Patrick: Seems like a bad idea. He ends up getting shot in the heart.
Dan: Oh that's true. It's a very cute bullet wound. Petite.
Patrick: Yeah they shot the bullet wound like it was gonna have a blooming blood stain but that didn't happen? That's the only gun The Rock touches. Sorry for misremembering. He touches one gun, and it's to kill a guy.
Dan: Okay quick point of order: time for a Real Thought about this movie. I think one of the big missteps in Skyscraper is that things are such that The Rock plays the entire movie Scared and Concerned.
Patrick: It's because he has a weakness: familial bonds.
Dan: He is scared for his family and concerned about the Bad Situation. He himself is never having fun being a giant hero, even though that's WHAT WE WANT FROM HIM.
Patrick: If The Rock didn't have a family he'd be too powerful No one could stop him. He'd just be in charge of everything.
Dan: That's true it's why we give Superman a Kryptonite or Tom Cruise a Scientology.
Patrick: Ethan Hunt is held back from his full strength because he's worried about Shelly Miscavige. But actually Scientology is not a weakness. It's the source of his power.
Dan: Just like...a Family.
Well, The Rock needs to pick up a 2 x 4 or something because he spends way too much time teleporting around to find his kids. So, Nicky Sobotka is dead, is this when the Bad Guys show up?
Patrick: Yeah the Bad Guys pour a bunch of Stuff on the 96th floor of the Skyscraper. And then the Stuff lights on fire when CO2 fire suppression system hits it. Tricky.
Dan: Oh yeah I actually loved this even though it was stupid. You are correct, using the power of chemistry they put some chemicals on the ground and the "Fire Safety System" in the Skyscraper actually explodes the chemicals.
Now. This is fun. But. Why not just also set stuff on fire regular and disable the fire safety system?
Patrick: They don't have the Android Tablet yet. They send the Cool Haircut Chinese Lady to take care of that.
Dan: Oh good point. Egg on my face. I guess the Skyscraper has become the Skyscrapee. Yeah we can fast forward this end of the first act setup because frankly it's confusing and a little pointless?
Patrick: I think that's probably a good idea.
Dan: Bad guys show up: they want to burn down the tower. Rock's family gets trapped in the building. Rock has to find them. Bad guys get the ipad and now control...everything?
Patrick: Skyscraper: On fire! Family: in peril! The Rock: on the way!
Dan: Oh yeah, here are the "Important" things that have been set up:
1) There's a big titanium panic room on the top floor.
2) There's a crazy holodec mirror sphere on the top floor that would make a great boss fight scene.
3) Um, one of the kids has asthma.
Patrick: You're forgetting the fourth McGuffin (the tablet and the two kids are the other three)
4) A Thing in the Skyscraper Guy's safe, but we don't know what it is until later. A Maroon Egg Thing.
Dan: Yes 4) The Thing in The Safe.
5) Uh, the Rock has a Fake Leg.
Patrick: 6) Neve Campbell has aged very well, and frankly should have stayed famous.
Dan: Actually a great point and actually great casting. I fully believed that she operated on Troops that lost their belly buttons from IEDs.
Patrick: She was Capable. Which I think, AS A FEMINIST, was important.
Dan: Agreed and I have to say that as an ALLY my main concern was that even though the cast was diverse there were too many Chinese people. Okay so First Act done?
Patrick: Sure. Also I maintain that every white person in the crowd shots was a sex tourist. That's canon.
Dan: Hahaha. Yeah there was a running through line of like, the News reporting on this burning building and The Rock's attempts to...I don't know, jump at it? Crowds formed to watch a giant screen of this huge Geek Squad guy jumping and climbing around. Everyone cheers and gasps and there are random creepy old business dudes in the crowd.
Patrick: I mean, I think that tracks. People love to stare at things. "Hey that big dumb building with the fan in it is on fire."
Dan: That's true, I remember during 9/11 when the flames were really going strong nobody ran away we all stopped to watch the Jumbotron and take out our phones for selfies.
Patrick: And that's the problem with This Generation.
Dan: Freedom isn't free! ✌👅
It is around this time in the movie that...some new characters show up for no reason! We have Lead Local PD guy and his Assistant.
Patrick: Yes. Then we meet The Cops.
Dan: Yeah they don't do anything, either to help or hinder The Rock throughout the movie. But they show up and just kinda watch what’s going on and go back and forth between "This man is a terrorist." and "Maybe he isn’t."
Patrick: The Assistant is very suspicious of The Rock, which I frankly think is offensive. And Neve Campbell is right when she says "Does this look like a guy with a plan" with the Joker makeup on.
Dan: "Wanna know how i got this fake leg?"
Patrick: If you're taking over a Skyscraper and you have to climb a crane and make a running leap that defies the laws of physics, you're probably not doing a good job of planning.
Dan: So, the building is on fire and the CEO doesn't really realize there is full on bad guy plot yet. He is being told to evacuate but doesn’t really wanna. Instead he takes up a lot of screen time doing shit on his crazy smart watch.
Patrick the gestures on this thing. Mamma Mia! I'm going to make you record me doing an impression of the door open gesture that this poor guy has to do every time he wants to open a door in his office.
Patrick: It's certainly the most theatrical smart watch I've ever seen. That smart watch emphasizes the "way" part of "Broadway."
Dan: Bixby, flush toilet <does full on Irish hand dance>
For the rest of this movie there are 2 main threads happening in parallel: The Rock is escaping bad guys and breaking into Skyscraper. Neve and kids are running around in a Universal Studios ride, triggering fire cues and explosions.
Patrick: And the Skyscraper CEO is playing with his watch and the Red Thing.
Dan: There really is no plot in this movie until the uh, big reveal of what the Red Thing is, so maybe let's pick out some good set pieces or action sequences?
Patrick: Sure. The Rock does the Jump from the trailer, that was good.
Dan: Oh yeah that was a good jump. I wish they had set that up earlier, like they do for everything else Maybe when he is prepping for his Big Interview, Neve could fix his tie and say, "Honey, you used to be a bronze medal long jumper for the FBI Olympics team, you can handle this!"
Patrick: Yeah, it's more impressive with The Leg, he could've been a paralympics guy.
Dan: I think Oscar Pistorius ruined paralympians as sympathetic characters for a while.
Patrick: Just for a bit of behind the curtain color here, "Dear Maria Count Me In" is playing here at The Bean and my pulse is now faster than it was at any time during the film.
Dan: The Bean: Come for the bathroom, stay for the music. Don’t bother with the coffee.
Patrick: I have had a large cold brew on an empty stomach and I am vibrating at either a very low or very high frequency.
Dan: Resonating with the multiverse. Regarding The Jump (from the executive producers of The Slap)...it was the centerpiece of this movie. He climbs the crane for a long time. He smashes the windows for a long time. We know how this is gonna do go down even before he does.
Patrick: It really was. The trailer really set up a "Will he make it?" kind of vibe. Imagine if he didn't
Patrick: THAT'S a movie I'd like to see. Hero dead like, one and a half acts in.
Dan: Then Neve has to take over.
Patrick: "Sorry folks, not everything you want to happen happens. This is REAL LIFE. ENJOY YOUR POPCORN."
Dan: I would trade The Rock surviving that jump for just a few more biospheres in that tower. At least have an Aquarium Floor.
Patrick: Get me a bald guy handing out eggs.
Dan: Give me a Central Park Floor with a company softball game. Bases loaded, bottom of the 7th (7 inning games so we can go drink sooner.)
Patrick: Matt Stairs comes to the plate.
Dan: Yeah. Full count. The fat guy is up so you know he can really wallop. The wind up, the pitch...
...The Rock comes running past swinging his fake leg at a bad guy and...BAM! Grand salami! GG. See ya at the 13th Step on the Bar Floor.
Patrick: This movie should have taken place during the workday.The bottom half of the skyscraper was offices. You could make endless amounts of stuff in this universe
Dan: God. That's so good.
Patrick: Office romance, but also there's a fire up 50 floors And some giant guy just jumped into the building from a crane?
Dan: Show me Jim and Pam react to that.
Patrick: Jim face as the giant turbine changes timing and cuts The Rock in half. Two halves, each the size of a normal man.
Anyway, look, the guy from the Wonka movie tries to hurt Neve Campbell and the Boy Child but The Rock shows up and he gets murked big time.
Dan: Oh ya, big reveal: worm face is a bad guy.
Patrick: Can't believe a guy that has, according to IMDB, played Hitler TWICE would do that. So we get the reunion faster than I personally expected.
Dan: Oh yeah. Hahaha. The Rock literally finds his family instantly. Once he is in the building he finds them over and over again without effort.
Patrick: But! Girl Child is on a different ledge or something.
Dan: Yeah, specifically, there is some bridge and the kids are on one side.
Patrick: So the Rock puts his wife and son in the elevator and cuts the cord, causing it to fall faster than gravity, instead of taking a minute to maybe think of a way to get to the Girl Child. But honestly, smart move to get 2 of the 3 of them out of there
Dan: Yeah I think there was a black hole in the basement. It's wild how fast and easily The Rock finds and saves everyone.
Patrick: The boy then vanishes. We see a lot more of Neve, but it's unclear where the Boy is.
Dan: He does not show up again until the last scene. I told you he went to Duane Reade to get a re-up on his inhaler.
Patrick: Maybe he's just there but quiet. I guess that could work with the camera angles. He's just out of frame playing a 3DS or something.
Dan: Sim Tower.
Patrick: Seems tasteless. He's playing that iPhone game Tiny Tower? The one where you just tap over and over and then spend money. Seems like fun.
Dan: You mean amazon dot com? 😎
Patrick: For the readers, I just fell out of my chair at this trenchant criticism.
Dan: The barista called the paramedics. One of them is a giant in a button down shirt. Anyway at some point, the bad guys...kidnap The Rock? I went to the bathroom. When I got back he was hacking a panic room for some reason.
Patrick: They get The Rock and Girl Child. They demand that The Rock get control of The System, and then do zero supervising. They don't even give him a henchman escort. I found this very strange
Dan: We are going out late to a jazz concert at the Civic Center. No babysitter tonight so be on your best behavior! There's a twenty on the counter for pizza!
Patrick: They had a ton of guys, it wasn't a manpower issue. "Hey man we just assume you're not gonna do anything to undermine us. See you in like an hour probably."
Dan: I came back from the bathroom and the Rock was just by himself doing something that previously was way against his best interests.
Patrick: "Or if you fail we'll just kill the kid. Thanks."
Dan: I guess the CEO locked himself away with His Item and The Rock was trying to break in?.
Patrick: Yeah this is when The Rock has to jump into the giant fan that's part of the building.
Dan: What does he discover? Some panel is hidden in the turbines?
Patrick: Because that's where the Control Panel for The System was.
Dan: That's.....dumb! Sorry.
Patrick: And he has to override The System.
Dan: But that's a dumb place for a panel!
Patrick: Strange design choice.
Dan: It's also the only thing that the ipad can’t do. So I guess that's smart design! That's an in app purchase. To get panic room access.
Patrick: Very confident. "Nothing will ever go wrong, but if it does we'll just need to get someone into this area, which is surrounded by a series of spikes smashing into each other in a carefully plotted pattern."
Dan: Luckily, The Rock has played enough Prince of Persia to time his jumps such that he doesn’t get chopped up.
Patrick: I think he does say something like "Oh come on" when he realizes that he has to do it. But, like, that's on you, filmmakers! Don't try to make the Rock our surrogate.
He then says a very Chive-esque thing about duct tape.
Dan: Keep Calm and Duct Tape on!
Patrick: Duct Tape: Epic As Fuck. Fuck Cancer. Zombie Bacon Sriracha.
Dan: Elon Musk The Oatmeal Pickle Rick.
Patrick: Today I buried my son. But tonight, I'm having a Fuckface Monkey Bastard IPA and Chiving On.
Dan: Fun fact: this is the part of the movie my dad will tell me about if he ever sees it. “It was fun enough, kinda like die hard. He did a fun thing where he liked to use duct tape a lot.” End quote.
Patrick: While the events of Skyscraper were occurring Elon Musk was pretending to design a Skyscraper Submarine to help the children.
Dan: I also just want to say this entire sequence: get a rope, smash a window, climb outside a building, was just a way worse version of the Mission Impossible 3 building swing.
Patrick: The duct tape did work better than those gloves in Mission Impossible. Can't trust those gloves!
Dan: Oooooh. Thought experiment. Tom Cruise as Will Sawyer? Yay or nay?
Patrick: I can't see Tom Cruise as having a family, even though he does in real life. They've been wise to sort of make him a non-romantic character for the past 10 years
Dan: Right but, and hear me out. We drop the family shit. And he just hardcore wants to do his job.
Patrick: The only jump I'm thinking of with Tom Cruise is on Oprah's freakin couch!
Dan: Uhhh, can we say that? I have to check with my producers.
Patrick: Well we know Tom Cruise would be alarmingly competent They'd have to generate a scene in which he runs VERY HARD, harder than any man alive. I'm not sure where that would be. On the roof?
Dan: He would jump off the crane and smash through the window on the floor ABOVE the hole he made.
Patrick: Oh right on the crane. Duh. I'm embarrassed.
Dan: He could also run down the elevator shaft. OR WAIT! The elevator is broken because of the ipad. He has to RUN UP 220 FLOORS.
Patrick: And he'd do it in real life, even though they're not filming most of it. Because that's the kind of guy he is.
Dan: Counter experiment: The Rock as PreCrime Agent John Anderton?
Patrick: Would be more effective. He'd cave Colin Farrell's chest in with one punch. Rock Bottom to Leo Crow on top of the orgy of evidence.
Dan: He could never fit into one of those freezer tubes they put the criminals in.
Patrick: The brain scrambler thing just wouldn't work. "His skull is too thick, it's almost metallurgical."
Dan: They hit him with a sick stick and THEY start to barf.
Patrick: He'd drink the expired milk and be fine.
Dan: The spiders try to identify his eyes and fall in love.
Patrick: He'd also let the guy kill at least the guy fucking his wife with the scissors. YOU KNOW HOW BLIND I AM WITHOUT THEM.
Peter Stormare wouldn't dare hassle The Rock John Anderton. He'd be thanking him the whole time.
Dan: Anyway, Spielberg you have our numbers. At some point in this movie, after The Rock hacks the Gibson again, he gets into the panic room. CEO is there and they get over their differences to talk about the Plot Item.
Patrick: It turns out the Item is a list of Bad Guys, from three different Syndicates.
Dan: Yeah it's his burn book of losers freaks and lamewads. He obtained this list by...deep breath here..."Attach[ing] a tracing program to the wire transfers" that reported back where all the money he sent ended up.
Patrick: That's right. I thought this guy was just an architect. But it turns out he's DJ Qualls from THE CORE.
Rat. DJ Qualls' hacker name is Rat.
Dan: Dear Syndicate Boss,
I have recently inherited a large sum of Dollars USD. In order to claim, I crave your indulgence. Please click this link to verify your authentications.
Patrick: He sent the crime guys one of those AIM profile links that lets you see who looked at your profile.
Dan: Hahaha. Anyway they all fell for it and now he has a big list of...bad guy names?
Patrick: Yeah I assume the crime guys are already known as crime guys right? It's not clear how this list is leverage, but it's his insurance policy, because guys in movies like this love saying that.
Dan: He literally just has like a list of names and I guess this is valuable enough that they are destroying the world's tallest Larry O'Brien Trophy. (The building is a big nba championship trophy, folks)
Patrick: It looks like the World Cup trophy. Which, congratulations to France.
Dan: Oh ya the south africa one especially. I almost got hooligan-ed by Croatia fans on the way to the theatre.
Patrick: Also, why isn't the World Cup an actual cup? I'm getting mad now. Sorry this is threatening to derail Skyscraper chat. Let's stick to the movie.
Dan: Sportball Handegg Joe Rogan Chive On.
Yah well now CEO has this thumb drive with an excel file and The Rock wants to trade it for his daughter, whom daddy loves.
Patrick: So our guys go up to the Egg Room. We were in the Egg Room before, when the CEO showed it to the Rock.
Dan: It has a bunch of projection screens designed for an action sequence where people don't know which one to shoot. I know we are about to have the Big Showdown. Did we miss any important or even interesting Neve stuff? What is she up to? Hanging with the cops?
Patrick: Oh yeah she's pretty much running the investigation. The only two Hong Kong cops that aren't corrupt are blowing it.
Dan: It's all pointless right? She like goes to some construction site to stop the bad guys from escaping? But The Rock is gonna kill all the bad guys anyway so who cares?
Patrick: Well she gets The Android Tablet.
Dan:OH MY GOD. Yes you are right.
Patrick: And we finally get to see Cool Hair go down.
Dan: Yeah Cool Hair Assassin gets kicked in the face which is cool. But I have to say that as an ALLY I am bravely against violence against women.
Patrick: Hahaha. I would like to discuss the threat the head bad guy makes to The Rock, up in mirror world.
Dan: Okay yes, back to the big showdown.
Patrick: So The Rock beats all the bad guys except for the head guy who is some kind of Eastern European of Indeterminate Origin, but was in Atomic Blonde as well. I like this guy. His name is something crazy, like Kothes Bofa.
Dan: They explicitly called him "Scandinavian" in this.
Patrick: Yeah I'm just ignoring that. The movie was wrong.
Dan: Goathes Bopa? He is also a discount bounty hunter from Star Wars planet.
Patrick: Attack Of The Die Hard Clones. Thank you.
Dan: The Empire State Building x 3 Strikes Back.
Patrick: So this guy. He's holding the daughter in one arm, dangling her off the roof. But he is also holding a grenade with the pin out, and he's like "Hey man, fuck off or I'm gonna drop her and also blow her up!"
Dan: The classic dead man's switch.
Patrick: "She's gonna be so dead.”
Dan: If you kill me the grenade explodes. Also I'll drop her into this hole.
Patrick: So, shockingly, this does not happen.
Dan: It's so good.
Patrick: Instead, the guy falls off the roof, but also blows up in the air.
Dan: You literally stood up.
Patrick: And I actually made a noise.
Dan: And yelled "and the grenade!!!!" and then you laughed!
Patrick: It's exactly what I wanted to happen. There are pieces of that guy raining down on Hong Kong for MILES.
Dan: Terrific. What a bad plan that guy had.
Patrick: Well the bad guys in general were fucked. Because the chopper blew up. But also they were gonna parachute? To where Neve Campbell was waiting for them?
Dan: Oh jeez. Yeah we forgot about poor Personal Security Agent. CEO's main dude was in charge of his bodyguards and he actually tried really hard and did a decent job.
Patrick: Yeah that guy did a good job. He blew up the bad guy escape chopper with his last breath.
Dan: Ya. RIP.
Patrick: I respect that guy, he's probably the only competent man in the movie.
Dan: But yeah the bad guys were gonna parachute somewhere. The Hong Kong PD deduced that it would have to be "somewhere flat" and made a big circle on a map. They didn’t even consider that the bad guys might land in the water but ok. Not my job.
Patrick: That's just good detective work. "Okay they're going somewhere in this 3 square mile radius. Send out some units."
Dan: Quick aside: Big fight in crazy mirror room is a trope. It's a fun set piece and it enables Cool Visuals, tense moments, fake outs and misdirections. It's also been done a thousand times better than it was here.
Patrick: Most recently used in John Wick 2.
Dan: Oh yeah, at the nightclub. Great one. Enter the Dragon is another classic.
Patrick: Yeah there was one good moment with The Rock in this one, when he owns the bad guy.
Dan: Hahahaha. Patrick.
Patrick: By being like "There's one thing I want to tell you - I'm behind you.” Then the guy falls and also blows up. Got him. Pretty undignified way to go out.
Dan: That's such a dumb and good kill the bad guy line.
"Get off my plane."
Patrick: "It's been revoked."
Dan: "Get away from her you bitch!"
Patrick: “Hasta la vista, baby.”
“How do you like how that shit works?”
“FOREIGN, SIR, AND DOMESTIC.”
“I CANNOT GIVE THAT ORDER”
Sorry now i'm doing the shower room scene
Dan:"I got her number, how do you like dem apples?"
"I'm behind you"
Hall of fame stuff.
Patrick: Maybe the best part of Jay & Silent Bob, Hunting Season. Ben Affleck with some of the worst overacting ever. Upsetting.
Dan: And then...the movie ends? Right? Literally no denouement, no epilogue?
Patrick: WAIT. The Rock drop-explodes that guy, but the fire isn't out.
Dan: Oh jesus. Yes sure, this is a certainly denouement.
Patrick: So that's where Android Tablet and Neve Campbell come in.
Dan: Yes another pay off for a laboriously set up callback.
Patrick: We were waiting for this one, and it was excruciating. There were like three too many lines of dialogue before it came.
Dan: In the opening family scene a million years and one crane jump ago, there is a painfully long detour about how Neve wants The Rock to FIX HER IPHONE. They keep talking about it. It was crazy. He says how she has to turn it off and on again. He says that like 3 times. They joke about it. They flirt about it. They talk about it some more. Cool.
Anyway movie happens and then…
Patrick: It's also not clear what's going on with her phone. It's "not working"? The screen was white?
Dan: Yes she doesn't say what’s wrong.
Patrick: Seemed serious.
Dan: It just...doesn't work? I thought she was a Troop. SMDH. Figure it out maggot!
Patrick: "I can't get my email." The Rock married someone's retired parents.
Dan: They do Facetime a lot. Which my dad recently said he "wants to do."
Patrick: They actually don't text or call. They only facetime. Which, if you're both movie good looking, makes sense. If you're hot from an upward facing angle, you might as well.
Dan: It also allows him to do the fun thing of explaining to her exactly where to go and what to do because, as you know, he knows The System.
Patrick: He does know the system. We established this.
Dan: "On the 65th floor behind the third waterfall there should be a blue plant with red blooms. Make a paste of the petals and feed it to the bad guys, the compound should be highly poisonous to terrorists."
Patrick: "Here's the thing you gotta know about Chris (?) - this guy knows The System."
Dan: Love to Facetime. So yes, she has the ipad now. The building is on fire. How she gonna fix?????
Patrick: If only she had some prior experience to fall back on.
Dan: Anyway she decides to kill the cops and run away. Unless I’m misremembering?
Patrick: Strange choice. But who am I to judge, I'm no filmmaker. Just kidding guys.
Dan: Nah jus playin she turns it off and on again! Like a iPhone! And then like, it works and we all get it. And then like two scenes later she explains what she did.
Patrick: You know how you can just turn a building off? Well, yeah she says what she did. Then the guy asks again? And she says the line we knew was coming. It felt like having a splinter removed.
Dan: In a...good way?
Patrick: Just like "THIS HAS TO COME OUT." Full disclosure I have not had a splinter in a long time, so this may be inaccurate.
Dan: To me it felt like having a splinter put in at the beginning of the movie and then having the foot removed. Because it had become infected and was full of abscess.
Patrick: We were the lions in that famous parable And the movie? The gentle mouse. Is that even the right animal?
Dan: Depending on the myth yes. Skyscraper was definitely a Gentle Mouse. Every culture has its own version of the Skyscraper myth.
Patrick: It was a snake. That's the racist poem Trump gets everyone to chant at his rallies.
Dan: 4 more floors! 4 more floors!
Okay then surely this movie ends right? I literally don't remember.
Patrick: Well, first we have to remind everyone that there was a Son. So he's just there again.
Dan: Oh yeah, a pointless moment. Where The Rock comes out of the Skyscraper and can't find his family. He spins around, panicked in a sea of Asian faces. It was a weird and disappointing image! It was literally like, these people are scary and im scared!
Patrick: Yeah, that was odd.
Dan: There is no tension for us because we know everyone is fine but whatever movie, delay the credits I don’t care.
Patrick: Honestly they could've used a William Atherton type character An annoying tabloid reporter who gets his face punched through the back of his head by The Rock.
Dan: Oh yeah sure. He could also be one of the sex tourists.
Patrick: Get me Atherton! Is he even still working? If I ever make a movie he's in it.
Dan: Ooh. I mean he has a Children's Hospital credit. So to answer your question: yes, he is working a lot more than me.
Patrick: Well, good for him, I say.
Dan: Good for us.
Patrick: Anyway no reporters get punched. What is this, a Trump rally? The Rock just says "You are Fake News" and throws Jim Acosta into a pit.
Dan: The Rock more like The Cuck. And so, we reach the end of the film. And we learn that perhaps the real skyscraper...is man?
Patrick: We get a classic family hug And a zinger that the Rock smells bad after SAVING HIS FAMILY JESUS CHRIST.
Dan: Oh yeah.
Patrick: CUT HIM SOME SLACK.
Dan: What was that? At least like, give us a callback.
Patrick: They did a reverse callback. Because he says "I love you" twice during the movie and Neve Campbell always answers with "You better", which, okay. I can't judge weird couple inside jokes.
Dan: That’s true we don't know their personal life.
Patrick: But then at the end he says "I love you" and she says...
Dan: "You smell like shit"
Patrick: "The Holocaust never happened, or at the very least was exaggerated." Kind of weird to have a movie's point of view shift so aggressively at the end. No but she just says like “I love you too,” or something. I literally forget.
Dan: Maybe set that up when he is in the hospital bed after the failed hostage negotiation. He opens his eyes to see Neve Campbell for the first time, she smiles then sniffs and says like, "clean yourself up you're covered in your team's shit." Then the ending would pay off!
Patrick: But then we get the ultimate callback. A pan up to the titular Skyscraper so we can remember. "Hey remember that thing?"
Also the architect got shot but we assume will be fine, and he's going to rebuild it. Sorry to keep everyone in suspense about what happened to that guy.
Dan: Yeah. Honestly it was weak as hell that the Skyscraper didnt have more character.
Patrick: Could've used an AI. Like if the skyscraper talked. Give it a funny voice, do some wisecracks. LIke that Simpsons Halloween episode with the Pierce Brosnan house.
Dan: Yes. That is what I’m talking about. Do you remember the Paul Reiser movie The Tower? It may have been made for TV. It was like, Paul Reiser vs an evil building.
Patrick: I have not seen The Tower but now I want to. I'm kind of a Reiser completist. Big "Bye, Bye Love" fan here.
Dan: Oh baby. It is what i thought this movie was going to be. Some guy in a future building, but it goes evil. Why do I care about terrorists and insurance scams. Give me a vertical Snowpiercer with Evil Siri.
Patrick: Does he work for Weyland-Yutani? That's why he rocks in Aliens. He's just a bureaucrat.
Dan: Yeah Paul is a great squirmy company man.
Patrick: There should've been an alien in this movie. Minor note from the studio: "Can we get a killer alien?"
Dan: At the end of the movie, The Rock finally breaks into the Skyscraper Mainframe.
Patrick: And he says "I'm in." after typing a lot. By the way I took a pic of that scene in the theater:
Dan: The evil AI that has been eating office workers with the copying machines is about to be unplugged. When he opens the sealed server room he is shocked to see...
It wasn't AI at all, it was...ahem...ALFI!
Patrick: This is why we need serifs. I thought it was an uppercase i, but it was a lower case L!
Dan: The print version will be fine.
Patrick: Then Alf eats a cat. Which is literally the only thing I know about that show. He's from Melmac. That's the other thing. Alf was on for like four seasons. Isn't that crazy?
Dan: I think he is an alcoholic? I can picture him with like a mai tai or something.
Patrick: Hawaiian shirt?
Patrick: Or was he just naked all the time.
Dan: Maybe that just has implications in my head.
Patrick: "On my planet we do not wear clothes. I will not hide my alien penis."
Dan: "Uh actually Alf that's weird I talked to someone from Melmac the other day and they said yeah of course we wear clothes."
"We wear clothes all the time who told you that?"
Okay! We made it through! Any thoughts we never got to? Things we missed before we get to the closing questions?
Patrick: I don't believe so. I would just like to note that the Skyscraper was tall.
Dan: Wow I actually never thought about that. But it makes sense. Explains a lot of stuff that happened. The elevators, etc.
I just want to say that I see a lot of early in the day movies and this theater was PACKED. Good for The Rock. Good for Neve. Good for Bothan Glorka.
Patrick: Yeah the fake news media was saying this was kind of a bomb, but based on this anecdotal evidence, it's a huge hit. Looks like the critics should've gone to Wisconsin!
Dan: I'd say more like someone set THEM up the bomb. Okay question one! What were your three favorite things about this movie?
Patrick: Okay One is clearly the fall-explode death.
Two: Cool Hair was attractive in a very dangerous way, and I liked that.
Three: Neve Campbell's return to major movies, as far as I know.
This is the analysis you're paying for.
Dan: Wow, 2 Babes and a Boom, classic 3-pack.
1) As an actual security architect and technology professional, I appreciated that this movie NAILED how important powerpoint is to our industry.
Patrick: The "Keep Building Safe" slide really seemed accurate.
Dan: 2) I thought Neve Campbell was really good in this movie!
Patrick: We need her back. Unfair that she was blackballed just because her mother was the ghostface killer and set up Cotton Weary. Or whatever. I can't remember.
Dan: 3) It was cool that The Rock was allowed to have grey hair in this goatee thing. As an ALLY I am a proud supporter of Olds.
Okay next question! If you could change 3 things about this movie what would they be?
Patrick: 1) I would probably have left out the whole leg thing? It didn't really have much of an impact. Also I am anti-disabled people apparently.
Dan: Wow guess you don’t support wounded vets.
Patrick: He wasn't a troop!!!! He was a cop, which is sub-troop.
Dan: That’s true he was part of the corrupt witch hunting FBI.
Patrick: 2) If we're keeping the leg, I would've had him get shot in it, but the bullet ricochet off and hit the guy who shot him.
3) Pablo Schreiber should've been the main bad guy, not just a bag man. And I like the other guy! But plot-wise it didn't make sense. Do it SWAT style, have him be Jeremy Renner.
Dan: Oh hell yeah. After they all get together at the end in the crowd of screaming fans and sex tourists, the camera pulls back to see Pablo on top of ANOTHER Skyscraper with a sniper rifle.
Patrick: There is a guy here with a truly awful laugh, and it's upsetting. Just another peek behind the curtain. It's gotta be weird to have a laugh that always sounds like it's fake.
Dan: Honestly, it’s infectious. I'm digging his vibe. Glad it's not me or my kid but fine with him!
Okay for me:
I've said this enough times but this Skyscraper NEEDED set up beyond just how tall it is. I want a tour of the facilities from some rando. Show me the kitchen for "our over 200 world class restaurants." I want to see the "olympic sized swimming pool...full of champagne." These would all be paid off later in the film when The rRck does some duct tape shit to them later.
Patrick: I strongly agree with that. Just do like a phony infomercial! Good way to squeeze in a silly celeb cameo.
Dan: Oh yeah, we hear the tour guide from off screen. Why do i know that voice? So familiar...is that…?
2) Give the Rock a third kid. A literal baby. Rock has to wear a Papoose for the entire second and third act.
Patrick: Haha. It should be the Rock's character from that Tooth Fairy movie he was in. He should just be that guy for some reason.
Dan: I like a good shared cinematic universe. Also he is the Moana guy.
3) I think instead of the CEO of Skyscraper being some guy it should have been a child billionaire with whimsical demands and an erratic temper. The implications are obvious and this change writes itself.
The general note: have more fun, guys!
Patrick: Maybe the child could be like that Twilight Zone kid. Sending bad guys to the cornfield
Dan: Oh hell yeah. You get it. He has a Moon Door on the side of his penthouse. To make the bad man fly. That's a world class Game of Thrones joke for everyone keeping track.
Patrick: I think he definitely could've used more character, no matter what it was. Like how the big business guy in Gremlins 2 was just Trump.
Dan: Okay final question! If you could rename this movie, what would you call it?
Patrick: I know this is fodder for A Bit, but I'm a huge sucker for high concept titles, so I'm struggling. I assume in Japan it's called "Building Fight!"
So let's go with that. Maybe gussy it up a bit - "Building Fight Disaster!"
Dan: I'd go with.....Tallers.
Patrick: God damn it. Just an hour and a half of The Rock saying "You ain't seen nothing yet."
Dan: Well Patrick, thank you so much for joining me today, this was a true treat. Any last words for our fans? And also you can never tell people how often I go to the bathroom during these podcasts it would break their little hearts.
Patrick: My last words are the same as the Mummy's in THE MUMMY: Death is only the beginning.
Dan: Wow same. And remember, Daddy loves you!
OH FUCK I FORGOT THAT THIS SKYSCRAPER HAS ITS OWN OPERATING SYSTEM CALLED PRLOS (pearl OS I guess?)
Patrick: *my soul is carried off screaming by a ghost chariot*
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