Actor Dwayne Johnson in a promo photo for the action movie “Skyscraper,” parts of which were filmed at Surrey City Hall Plaza last fall. The movie opens in theatres on Friday, July 13.

Reviews are in for B.C.-shot ‘Skyscraper’ action movie

City’s film liaison recalls four days of filming at city hall last fall, with Dwayne Johnson on set

One of the most high-profile movies ever filmed in Surrey opens across North America today (July 13).

Scenes for the action flick Skyscraper, starring Dwayne Johnson, were filmed at Surrey City Hall Plaza last fall.

James Monk, who works as the City of Surrey’s film liaison, is keen to see how Surrey looks on the big screen.

“I haven’t seen it yet, but the production did call to remind me it’s coming out this Friday, just because we worked so closely with the production that it felt like we were a part of that journey they were on here,” Monk said Tuesday.

The Skyscraper crew filmed in Surrey for a total of four days – on Oct. 14 and 15 and then again on Nov. 6 and 7.

“They had five days of setup, quite extensive, the first time there – a big build that took five days to construct everything they needed,” Monk recalled.

“They had somewhere around 500 background (extras) on the plaza and they were filming a shot that I believe was toward the end of their script, and that included a helicopter used to land and take off several times,” he explained.

“To get to that point took several weeks of work and necessary approvals from Transport Canada, as an example of one.

“Dwayne Johnson was on site – not the whole time they were filming but it was at least one day of filming. They probably wanted to get his lines done in a day and then focus on other things, is my guess.”

Afterward, in a video posted on social media, Johnson gave his thanks to Mayor Linda Hepner and the City of Surrey after staff put a giant “we love DJ” sign in their city hall office.

In the Die Hard-like movie, Johnson plays a security consultant forced to rescue his family from a 240-storey building set on fire by terrorists in search of a computer flash drive hidden in an apartment.

An official trailer for the film was released in February.

In Monk’s estimation, Skyscraper is “up there as a contender for the number-one spot, for the largest feature film we’ve had in Surrey,” he noted. “But in saying that, we’ve had other big feature films — Twilight, for example, had filmed in Surrey quite extensively. I don’t know what the comparables are there… We also had Deadpool 1 and 2 filmed in the City of Surrey.”

• RELATED: VIDEO: ‘The Rock’ and Neve Campbell shown on ‘Skyscraper’ film set in Surrey.

Pre-release reviews of Skyscraper are starting to trickle in, and at least two aren’t very kind.

On the variety.comwebsite, reviewer Peter Debruge wrote this: “Ridiculous is the name of the game in Skyscraper, an eye-rolling action movie delivered with a straight face by Dodgeball: An Underdog Story director Rawson Marshall Thurber, who recognizes that no one wants to watch a realistic rescue story (‘Cat Saved From Tree,’ say, or ‘Backdraft’) when they can have ‘The Rock’s Wife and Kids Nearly Burned to a Crisp in Blazing Building.’”

A review at hollywoodreporter.com says the bottom line with Skyscraper is, “Check your brain at the door.”

Meanwhile, Monk said the City of Surrey has issued 122 permits for filming so far this year, which he called “a staggering number.

“We could potentially surpass last year, and last year was a record year for us in terms of the number of permits we issued. Of that 122 this year, close to eight per cent of those permits were for feature films in Surrey (and) 61.5 per cent of permits were for TV series.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Proposed South Okanagan medical marijuana facility stalled

The RDOS voted to postpone on making a decision about Kaleden area proposed cannabis facility

Centre set up for Summerland wildfire evacuees

Summerland Emergency Support Services has processed 55 people from 16 households

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Mount Conkle wildfire near Summerland continues to grow

Lightning-caused fire near Summerland now at estimated size of 80 hectares

Penticton bans open burning

Temporary fire ban takes effect noon Friday

Update: 1,000 hectare wildfire near Peachland threatens homes

Peachland - Evacuation orders have been issued for Brent Road and Highway 97 South properties

Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire now an estimated 400 hectares

BC Wildfire is on scene of what is being called the Good Creek blaze

Flicked cigarette butt sparks small fire

The cigarette would have added fuel to the fire if it wasn’t for good samaritans

BC Games: Opening Ceremony from Laketown Ranch

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

On the street: Kelowna reacts to 2018 wildfires

BC Wildfire is working with local departments to battle multiple blazes near Kelowna.

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Syrian refugees fear for lives at home

Former head of Salmon Arm Refugee Coalition says Canada should be doing more

Most Read