High-Rise Entertainment

14 March 2019
Five tall tales, plus three extra stories.

From escaping an earthquake to befriending a giant gorilla to becoming a video game avatar, there’s nothing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can’t do. This weekend he scales the highest heights in your M-Net Sunday night movie, Skyscraper. Speaking of all things skyscraping, let’s take a look at a few other very tall buildings that brought us plenty of entertainment.

Die Hard
An action movie. A Christmas movie. A Bruce Willis movie. Die Hard is many things, including an excellent piece of high-rise action, as Hans Gruber and his team of terrorists hold a Christmas party hostage in the towering heights of the Nakatomi corporation’s high-rise location. Luckily, Bruce Willis’s John McClane lives up to the title, as he battles heights, guns, and explosions to save the day.

MORE HERE: Bruce Willis’s top 5 roles.
Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth movie in the franchise, airs on Tuesday 26 March at 20:00 on M-Net Movies Action+ channel 106.

Don’t let the name Peach Trees deceive you. It may be the name of a 200-story tower block in Mega-City One, but life here is anything but peachy. Enter the Judges who come to bring order to the chaos inflicted by the block’s reigning drug-lord Ma-Ma. Action ensues as the building is sealed off, with the Judges trapped inside. The ensuing high-rise, post-apocalyptic action was shot in none other than Jozi and Cape Town Film Studios, and features one of our all-time favourite actresses to nail reigning roles, Lena Headey, in the role of Ma-Ma.

MORE HERE: 10 movies made before their time.

It’s The Rock vs. The Pearl in this lofty, action-packed blockbuster. Dwayne Johnson goes from US Marine to FBI team leader to security consultant to the guy who has to save his family from The Pearl, the world’s tallest (fictional) building…and it’s on fire. Expects explosions, gunfire, and mind-blowing action.     

MORE HERE: 10 fast facts about Dwayne Johnson.

Tower Heist
Whether they’re on fire or full of terrorists, everyone’s usually trying to get out of these skyscraping buildings. In this heist comedy, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and co. are trying to break into a building. Conned by pension-grabbing businessman Arthur Shaw, the duped stars hatch a plot to break into Shaw’s apartment to steal their money back. The high-rise heist is further complicated by an FBI agent investigating Shaw’s money-grubbing shenanigans.

MORE HERE: Famous families.

The Towering Inferno
It’s back to fire in this 1970s classic in which a swanky soiree turns into a disastrous do. This story’s skyscraper is 138 stories high, and when a fire breaks out on the 81st floor during the tower’s dedication ceremony, it quickly turns into the title’s inferno. Old school action aficionados Paul Newman and Steve McQueen are the architect and fire chief tasked with tackling the flames.

Special Mentions:
The action in the following movies doesn’t centre around a skyscraper, tower, high-rise, or any other form of tall building. But they do feature scenes in said buildings that are so memorable they had to be mentioned on our list.

Casino Royale
The building’s not even finished and already it’s in trouble. When bombmaker Mollaka slips through Bond’s grasp in Daniel Craig’s first 007 outing, he leaps, bounds, and scales the precarious structure of a building-to-be. Playing Mollaka is none other than free-runner and parkour expert Sébastien Foucan.

MORE HERE: 15 things you didn't know about James Bond.

Fight Club
(spoiler alert!)
Project Mayhem is pulled off in the final scene of David Fincher’s adaptation of Fight Club. Playing out to the Pixies’ Where is My Mind, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter watch mayhem ensue as building after building detonates and collapses in front of their eyes.

MORE HERE: The best Hollywood explosions.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
As if exploding tanks, rock climbing, and swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper weren’t enough, Tom Cruise took it one death-defying jump further with Ethan Hunt’s free crawl over the outside of the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – in his fourth Mission: Impossible movie.

MORE HERE: Why we love the Mission: Impossible movies.

Watch Dwayne Johnson scale dizzying heights in your #SundayNightMovie Skyscraper on 17 March at 20:05 on M-Net channel 101.

Feature imagae: Skyscraper, 2018.