When speaking on action films, one must turn to the Book of Bay and reference the following Action Commandment: Explosions maketh action.
If you don’t do that, you may find yourself wondering, “What is this movie even about? Would we even be here right now, if not for explosions? Why?”
“Inferno: Skyscraper Escape” is directed by Eric Summer and stars Jamie Bamber (“Battlestar Galactica”) and Claire Forlani (“Meet Joe Black”). Other notable cast members include Riley Jackson, Isaac Rouse, and Nigel Barber.
“Inferno: Skyscraper Escape” brings us a disaster of epic proportions when a gas leak in a skyscraper causes a terrible explosion. Brianna and Tom, a couple on the verge of divorce, find themselves trapped in the burning building and must work together to rescue their children.
Right off that bat, I’ve just got to nitpick. “Inferno: Skyscraper Escape” suffered from a bad case of People Being Bad at Their Jobs. We had maintenance men just pointing tools at walls. We had lawyers that were tap dancing all over legal ethics in a way that would definitely see them disbarred. Every engineer, building inspector, and rescue crew member was existing way outside of what’s normal and reasonable for those professions.
I know what you’re thinking: “Cait the Critic, we didn’t all go to law school. We’re just audience members. And these actors are just actors. What’s the big deal?”
The big deal is that, 1) It irked me and therefore you have to hear about it and 2) It denotes lazy filmmaking. When you’re building an entire action-drama off of building maintenance gone wrong and one of the driving plot points is your leads seeing a divorce attorney, you need to do just a teensy bit of research. Anything less kills credibility before you can even sell me on the story.
My criticisms of “Inferno” are all story-based. How did two attorneys manage to miss a piece of evidence that it took two children less than 10 minutes to discover? Why would a businessman cut corners to the point that he wasn’t properly air conditioning his building? Why did we have to have the whole ‘evil businessmen killing people and going to great lengths’ thing, when we could have just had an electrical malfunction?
It’s a shame because there’s truly nothing wrong with a simple “the building is on fire and we must do action stuff to get out” movie. Pack too much on there and it gets clunky and too improbable for me to be patient with.
A praise that I readily hand to “Inferno” is solid performances. Our leads gave sincere performances that were neither wooden nor too cheesy. They had believable chemistry and could sell me on the situation. We had a great pair of child actors that held their own within the cast (if you know me well, you know that I can’t stand children…especially children that act). Down to the extras and the side-story actors, solid performances all around. Well done.
And I’m gracefully allowing for the fact that our villains were evil to the point of being just shy of twirling a mustache. I’ll let it stand.
“Inferno: Skyscraper Escape” did a fine job in terms of effects. Some great practical work and you know how much I do love practical effects, as well as computer effects that held their own without going overboard. One of the biggest sins in all of Cinemadom, in my eyes, is CGI abuse.
“Inferno: Skyscraper Escape” is a flawed film and not necessarily adding anything new to the conversation, in terms of action films. But it’s a solid watch that I got some genuine enjoyment out of. “Inferno: Skyscraper Escape” is out on Video on Demand now.
Featured image credit: High Octane Pictures
Caitlin is a lean, mean writing machine based in Austin, TX. Her love of film began when she was shown “Rosemary’s Baby” way too early in life. Bylines include The Financial Diet and Film Inquiry. Caitlin is a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics and the Women Film Critics Circle.