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The Ending Of Skyscraper Explained

Over the course of his filmography, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has had to go up against all kinds of threats. Genetically engineered monsters, government agencies, and demigods are just some of the entities that have faced his wrath, but in 2018, he went toe-to-toe with literally his biggest adversary yet — a skyscraper. Actually, he fights some terrorists, but if you only look at the Skyscraper movie poster, you'd be mistaken for assuming it's about The Rock vs. a building. 

The Die Hard-esque plot kicks off when Johnson's character, Will Sawyer, is hired to ensure all of the security protocols for the new tallest building in the world — The Pearl — are in place. As expected, things quickly go awry as a group of criminals ends up infiltrating the tower so that they can get their hands on some very sensitive records, putting Will and his family's lives in jeopardy. But they picked the wrong building to mess with as Will has a handy set of skills that make him a one-man wrecking machine who makes quick work of the syndicate. 

The good guys prevail, and Will is reunited with his family. But did you catch everything the Skyscraper ending had to offer? Here are some beats you may have overlooked the first time you watched the film.

The climactic scene mirrors the opening

Skyscraper opens with a prelude from 10 years ago, where Will Sawyer is still working for the FBI. He finds himself in the midst of a confrontation where a man uses his own son as a human shield. Will does his best to save everyone involved, but the man has a bomb strapped to his chest, which detonates — killing himself and his child. 

At the end of the movie, Will finds himself pretty much in the same situation, except in this instance, his own daughter is the human shield. Kores Botha (Roland Møller) even has a grenade with him, further offering a parallel to the opening where if the bomber dies, then everyone around him goes down, too. Fortunately, Will has learned a few tricks over the years, and he manages to use his surroundings to his advantage. 

The final confrontation takes place inside the ornament on top of The Pearl, which, as we learned earlier in the film, is outfitted with mirrors and cameras to give the impression of flying over Hong Kong. Will uses this technology to make Kores think he's standing in front of him when in reality, he's behind him, ready to kick him straight off the tower, rescuing his daughter in the process. 

Not only is it a moment befitting a raucous action movie, but it also serves as a moment of redemption for Will. He's spent the last 10 years haunted by the memory of witnessing that child dying, carrying emotional and physical scars from that fateful day. He hasn't just saved the day; he's finally given himself peace of mind.

The ending of Skyscraper showcases themes of family

Even when he's not in Fast and Furious movies, Dwayne Johnson just can't seem to escape the themes of family, only in this instance, it's literally about one's biological family. This is presented at the very start of the film where we see a father willingly put his son in harm's way to save his own life, which results in both of their deaths. It's hard to imagine this situation didn't impact Will on a base level seeing as how close he is with his own kids years later, exemplified in the game he plays where he asks them, "Daddy loves who?" to which they both respond screaming, "Me!" Protecting them is the whole reason he continually puts himself in harm's way so that they can be safe. 

But Will isn't an island in the movie. His wife, Sarah (Neve Campbell), helps save the day as well. When Will defeats Kores, he and his daughter are still trapped at the top of the building with fire raging in the floors underneath them. At the bottom, Sarah has access to the skyscraper's fire-suppression system. Taking a cue from earlier in the film where she rebooted her phone, she reboots the system so that water finally puts out the inferno, allowing the rest of the Sawyer family to get down safely. 

Sarah isn't just a damsel in distress, and her role in the family dynamic is just as important as Will's. The bond they share is ultimately what keeps them going even in the face of overwhelming odds, and at the end of the day, having the biggest muscles around means nothing if you can't use them to protect those you love.