Skyscraper vs. Skyscraper in the ultimate Skyscraper Showdown!

1996 saw the release of Skyscraper, a movie about a hero with a humongous chest who must battle terrorists in a high rise building. 22 years later, we have Skyscraper, a movie about a hero with a humongous chest who must battle terrorists in a high rise building. And the funny thing is, the 2018 Skyscraper is not a remake.

But, they are both rip-offs of the 1988 action classic Die Hard, although Skyscraper (2018) goes the extra mile and adds a dash of 1974’s The Towering Inferno into the mix. So see? It’s totally different. Not the same at all. The 1996 Skyscraper stars Anna Nicole Smith. Yes, you read that correctly.

Someone made a Die Hard rip-off and cast Anna Nicole Smith as the hero. Ha. You know, while we’re at it, let’s cast Pamela Anderson as discount Dutch in a Predator rip-off. Or Jenny McCarthy and Traci Bingham as discount Riggs and Murtaugh in a Lethal Weapon rip-off. Because why the hell not?

And Skyscraper (2018) stars the samoan superman himself, Dwayne Johnson in his 117th movie in 3 years. Does that guy ever sleep? Anyways, let’s stack these 2 up against each other and see who turns up the winner…

Heroes: Anna Nicole Smith vs. The Rock

Skyscraper (2018)

Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson), a former FBI agent who loses his leg in a rescue mission gone wrong. 10 years later, now a security consultant.

Skyscraper (1996)

Carrie Wink (Anna Nicole Smith), a helicopter pilot who really wants a baby.

This is such a non-discussion that it doesn’t even seem fair. How do you compare an uber charismatic actor like Johnson to the block of wood that was Smith (RIP). I hate to rag on someone who is no longer with us, but I gotta call it spade of spade here. She was a god-awful actress. In fact, this may be her worst performance ever. And that’s saying a lot. Although, in her defense, she probably shouldn’t have been anywhere near a camera. I would ask why would they even hire her, instead of someone more capable like Cynthia Rothrock, but… we all know exactly why Smith was hired.

Johnson on the other hand is perfectly fine in his role. Charming as ever, but nothing spectacular about his performance. But compared to Smith, he looks like Denzel Washington. Also, Will is so much better developed as a character. A man who feels inadequate because of his life changing injury learns that he is still the man he used to be, and nothing will ever change that. Carrie on the other hand? She really wants a baby. And that’s all to her.

Winner: Skyscraper (2018)

Villains: Kores Botha vs. Fairfax

Skyscraper (2018)

Kores Botha (Roland Møller), a Scandinavian international terrorist with ties to many major crime syndicates.

Skyscraper (1996)

Fairfax (Charles M. Huber), a ruthless South African criminal mastermind prone to quoting Shakespeare.

Let’s be real, Botha is as generic and bland a villain as they come. No personality. Just a evil for evil’s sake. And yet, he’s 1000× a better villain than Fairfax. Fairfax’s endless quoting of Shakespeare grows so tiresome after the first couple of times he does it, he is positively unbearable by the climax. And the performance from Huber is just abysmal. Botha may be bland as a character, but at least Møller gives him an intimidating presence.

Winner: Skyscraper (2018)

Significant Others: Sarah Sawyer vs. Gordon Wink

Skyscraper (2018)

Sarah Sawyer (Neve Campbell), Will’s wife, the mother of his 2 children, and the doctor who saved his life. Also a military medic who did 2 tours in Afghanistan.

Skyscraper (1996)

Gordon Wink (Richard Steinmentz), Carrie’s husband and an LAPD detective.

Same as Johnson vs Smith. Character is better developed and has the much better actor portraying them. Although, to be honest, I’m probably a little bias being that Sarah is played by Campbell. She’s Sydney Prescott for christ’s sake. How can you vote against her? Also, she’s much more badass. Gordon spends a lot of time running and hiding from the bad guys, while Sarah probably kicks more ass than her husband does.

Winner: Skyscraper (2018)

Story/Plot: 1996 vs. 2018

Skyscraper (2018)

Botha and his band of terrorists take over, and set fire to, The Pearl, the high tech building in Hong Kong where the movie takes place, in order to collect a memory drive that contains information on all of his and his bosses criminal activities. Will, who was tasked with surveying the security constructs of the building, becomes an unwitting pawn. And with his wife and 2 kids trapped inside, he will do whatever it takes to save them.

Skyscraper (1996)

Fairfax and his band of terrorists take over the Zitex building, a Skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles where the movie takes place, in order to gain control of four interlocking devices that will give him ultimate power (or something like that). When Carrie, the helicopter pilot who unwittingly transports them there, gains possession of the last device, it becomes a life or death struggle between her and the terrorists.

Both plots are convoluted as all hell, but at least Skyscraper ’18 tries to make it somewhat compelling, even if they don’t fully succeed. Skyscraper ’96 could care less about their own plot, like the majority of PM Entertainment’s movies. The plot is merely an excuse to get us from action scene to action scene.

Winner: Skyscraper (2018)

The Ultimate Action Showdown!

Skyscraper (2018)

Although Skyscraper ’96 is more of a pure action movie than Skyscraper ’18, which is more concerned with jumping and falling than shooting and fighting, Skyscraper ’18 is still the better one of the two. Although there is a fun set piece very early on in an alleyway, Skyscraper ’96 for the most part lacks any real ingenuity in its action sequences, going for a run and gun style of action in which both good and bad guys let off seemingly hundreds of shots at each other from guns with bottomless clips and yet manage to hit nothing at all. I guess everybody went to the Stormtrooper school of marksmanship. The explosions are great, though.

Skyscraper (1996)

Skyscraper ’18 on the other hand seems to be more interested in The Towering Inferno side of things than Die Hard. While the film does have its dust ups, they’re relatively minor in comparison to the disaster movie style action contained within the proceedings. Truth be told, there’s only one sequence (fight scene between Johnson and Pablo Schreiber) that I can really call a through and through action set piece.

This movie finds its solace in hanging, running, jumping and falling. And to its credit, it manages to induce a nice level of tension. I found a lot of its suspense sequences gripping.

Kudos to director Rawson Thurber for being able to find some semblance of tension in the oft-used and timeworn action sub genre known as the “Die Hard in/on a _____” genre. Too bad the same can’t be said for Skyscraper ’96.

Winner: Skyscraper (2018)

Well, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. Winner on all counts: Skyscraper (2018). On its own, a very decent, enjoyable dumb summer action flick. But standing next to Skyscraper (1996), it’s a damn game changer.


What’s your vote for most ultimate Skyscraper – The Rock’s or Anna Nicole Smith’s? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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