Deputy editor Hayley Skirka climbs into a tank filled with salted water to see what health benefits it can bring.
ADW Tries Point Zero Floation - YouTube
What is it?
Pioneered in the 1950s by an American physiologist called John Lilly, floatation therapy is a process where you float in a bed-sized container that’s filled with highly-concentrated salty water. This causes your body to feel weightless and deprives your senses of external stimuli.
What are the benefits?
There has been loads of research done on this and Dr Asma Inamdar, doctor-in-charge and manager at Point Zero Floatation Center in Khalifa City explains that it allows people to get the maximum amount of rest, in the shortest amount of time. For this reason, many of its advocates are those who work irregular hours and use floatation therapy to get some of the benefits of a full night’s sleep. It’s also believed to relax the brain into an alpha state, allowing for improved creative thinking and problem-solving. Research has shown it can aid in detoxification and help decrease cortisol levels, thus reducing stress.
What’s the setup?
Point Zero Floatation Center has a number of float rooms, some installed with cabins and others with pods. The latter give more of a cocoon-like experience, but are not recommended for first-timers. I try the VIP Cabin Float, which takes place in a space that’s big enough to accommodate up to two floaters and sessions can be anything from
60 to 120 minutes long.
How does it work?
Upon arrival, I’m given slippers and a glass of room- temperature water, before being shown to my treatment room. Once the cabin is full, I open the door and step into the water. The outside lights automatically switch off and the water is pleasantly warm – it’s like being in a gigantic square bathtub, perhaps during a power cut. Lying down, I position a float around my neck before closing my eyes and trying to relax. Soothing music plays through speakers and spotlights dotted around the cabin rotate through a spectrum of hues. I do as Dr Asma instructed, and focus only on my breathing.
At first, it’s hard to switch off. I’m thinking about work, emails and my never-ending to-do list and, quite honestly, I feel a bit like I’m wasting time lying in this darkened room. I give myself a pep talk and try again. After a while I notice a sense of weightlessness and I’m genuinely surprised when my right arm touches the side of the tank – I could have sworn I was at the opposite end of the cabin.
I press a button that changes the lights from the blue-toned spectrum to a pink palette and find this helps me to relax a bit further.
I discover exactly how salty the water is when I try to move a strand of hair off my face and the liquid drips on my eye. Luckily, there’s a freshwater spray and a cloth by the side of the cabin for exactly such instances.
While I don’t manage to switch off completely, I’m surprised when the music turns off and the lights blink on, signalling the end of the session. It definitely doesn’t feel like I was in there for an hour.
Afterwards, my skin is a little dry because of the high concentration of salt so I lather my hair in conditioner and my skin in moisturiser. Dr Asma recommends an hour of floatation therapy before an hour-long massage, which sounds divine, but I don’t know how many people have time for such a lengthy session.
I feel quite calm as I get on the highway to drive home and even manage to get through a bit of work in the evening without feeling tired. What’s more, I definitely drift off into an easier sleep when bedtime rolls around.
From AED 350 per hour. Villa 3, 12th Street, Khalifa City, opposite Al Forsan International Sports Resort. Daily 10am-10pm. Contact: 02 445 5775, pointzerofloatation.com
With prices rising and taxes being implemented, we’re definitely feeling the pinch. But there’s too much going on in Abu Dhabi to sit around sulking about it. Here are the best deals in town this summer.
With a variety of Japanese dishes, great views of the creek and Grand Mosque plus a DJ on the decks, Sho Cho is a cool place to hang out this summer. You’ll get 25 percent discount on your total bill between now and September, 30 percent if you’re a teacher or Etihad crew. Souk Qaryat Al Beri, between the bridges. Daily noon-midnight. Contact: 02 558 1117, sho-cho.com
Aside from its various daily dining and drinks deals – such as two-for-one sushi nights at Cho Gao and two-for-one on The Garden Social Brunch – Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi has a Summer Payback promotion. For every AED 100 you spend in the hotel’s food and beverage outlets – including Spaccanapoli, Heroes and Level Lounge – you’ll receive a AED 25 cashback voucher to use during the summer. Hamdan Street. Contact: 02 656 3000, facebook.com/crowneplazaauh
As the sun goes down, the discounts go up at Diablito. From Sunday to Wednesday between 5pm and 7pm, the Sunset Offers means you can enjoy two-for-one on pizza, a free tapas when you buy three, or enjoy a bottle of hops for AED 25, a bucket for AED 110 or a jug of Spanish beverage for AED 80. Until 31st July. Yas Marina. Contact: 02 565 1175, diablitofoodandmusic.ae
At Giraffe World Kitchen, you can get two-for-one on main courses when you buy a card. The one-off payment of AED 120 means you can benefit from the deal for a full year and enjoy dishes like Texan BBQ brisket, Thai duck stir fry and chicken Milanese. Yas Mall. Sun-Thu 9am-11pm, Fri-Sat 9am-12.30pm. Contact: 02 565 0711, giraffe.net
Giraffe World Kitchen
Kids can eat for free at The Coffee Club this summer. Little diners under 12 years old can pick a dish from the kids’ menu when an adult main course is ordered. Various locations including Marsa Al Bateen. Sun-Wed 7.30am-10.30pm, Thu-Sat 7.30am midnight. Contact: 02 222 1266, facebook.com/thecoffeeclubme
For fast food, Bareburger has a lunch special every day from noon to 4pm where you can tuck into your choice of a burger or sandwich, a side dish or salad and a soft drink for AED 55. Kids also eat free on Mondays when a main course is purchased. Marina Mall. Contact: 02 441 1723, facebook.com/bareburgeruae
As part of Abu Dhabi Summer Season, Zomato has launched the ADSS Zomato Experience with offers at over 200 restaurants. With the Abu Dhabi Summer Season Family Package, you can grab a Zomato Gold Membership at a 25 percent discount. Kids under 13 years old can enjoy a main meal and dessert for AED 15, valid at 85 participating outlets. What’s more, the ADSS Culinary Weeks comprises a themed series including Simply Italian week, Masaledaar Indian week and Perfect Pizza week with a 25 percent discount at 25 highlighted restaurants. Visit: abudhabisummerseason.ae
If you’re dining out anyway, you might as well be rewarded for it, right? If you spend at least AED 175 per person in Jumeirah at Etihad Tower’s Italian restaurant BICE or casual dining spot Nahaam, you can enjoy complimentary pool and beach access. Valid for lunch only. Corniche West. Contact: 02 811 5666, email@example.com
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
Fancy a weekend getaway? On Friday night, you can enjoy a room at Le Royal Méridien with breakfast and access to the Fizz Factory Royale brunch at Café Palmier from AED 450. Until 31st Aug. Fatima bint Mubarak Street. Visit: leroyalmeridienabudhabi.com
Book a family getaway at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche where the Sweet, Suite Summer offer means you can enjoy a night’s stay with breakfast, 25 percent discount on food and beverages, all-day refreshments in the Executive Lounge including afternoon tea, plus free shuttles to the Corniche and Saadiyat Beaches, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Marina Mall, Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World. Until 31st Aug. From AED 647. Corniche East. Contact: 02 813 7777, firstname.lastname@example.org
At the Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel, you can enjoy a night’s stay for AED 330. The summer special includes breakfast for two people, 20 percent discount on food and beverages, plus access to the indoor Olympic-sized pool, gym and kids’ village. Valid until 30th Sep. Off Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Contact: 02 441 5900, afoc.ae
Armed Forces Officers Club and Hotel
Summer is a great time to grab a staycation at a bargain price. Treat yourself to a weekend away at a Rotana property with 25 percent off summer stays. Book a room for as little as AED 180 at Pearl Rotana, AED 299 at Beach Rotana, AED 266 at Yas Island Rotana or AED 716 at the stunning Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas. What’s more, with your stay you can get 15 percent off adult tickets to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi or Yas Waterworld and 20 percent off kids’ tickets. Until 2nd Sep. Visit: rotanatimes.com
The emirate’s most iconic hotel, Emirates Palace, is running its Summer at the Palace promotion until 30th September where you’ll get 25 percent discount on your summer stay. Discounted room rates start at AED 990 per room inclusive of a buffet breakfast for two people and access to the Palace Lounge if you book a suite. Corniche West. Contact: 02 690 8888, email@example.com
Escape to the Rub Al Khali desert for an overnight stay at Tilal Liwa Hotel and you can enjoy a luxurious getaway for just AED 277. The summer promotion, valid until 31st August, includes discounts on food and wellness activities. Al Gharbia. Contact: 02 894 6111, tilalliwa.danathotels.com
A family getaway for less than AED 200? That’s the deal at Premier Inn. The summer offer includes an overnight stay including breakfast for a family of four. While there you can take a dip in the pool, plus if you book online you’ll receive the Premier Inn Passport, which gives you access to even more discounts. From AED 143. Valid until 30th Sep. Abu Dhabi Capital Center, next to Adnec, and Abu Dhabi International Airport. Visit: bit.ly/2N3B3S6
For a relaxing retreat, the Getaway Staycation Package at Marriott Al Forsan includes a night’s stay, a 60-minute Saray Spa treatment, use of the leisure facilities including the pool and sauna, breakfast at Khayal Restaurant, dinner at The Grill Restaurant and a bottle of sparkling grape when you arrive. From AED 1,007 per night. Valid until 31st Dec. Khalifa City. Contact: 02 201 4000, marriott.com
As part of The Big Chill campaign, Tips & Toes is offering great deals every week with Serene Sunday, Monday Magic and Two’s Day Tuesday throughout summer. Offers include 50 percent off eyelash extensions, hair treatments, hair colour, full body massage and facials as well as 25 percent off when you and a friend book together. Valid until 14th Aug. Various branches including Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Visit: tipsandtoes.com
Tips and Toes
Jazzing up the happy hour concept, Bayshore Beach Club & Wellness is hosting a massage happy hour every weekday. You can get 15 percent discount on selected massages starting at AED 289 for 60-minute treatments. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen. Sun-Thu 11am-4pm. Contact: dining-intercontinental-ad.ae
At Bodylines Wellness & Fitness Club at Pearl Rotana, you can enjoy a massage treatment at a 25 percent discount throughout summer. Take your pick from a Thai massage, hot stone massage, aromatherapy massage and more, with prices from AED 200 for a 30 minute treatment. Valid until 31st Aug. Next to Adnec, off Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Daily 10am-3pm. Contact: 02 307 5555, rotana.com
Looking to get some bang for your buck? Then spoil yourself at ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton where the summer spa and lunch package includes a 60-minute massage of your choice, lunch at Al Fresco and complimentary access to the pool and beach throughout the day. Valid until 31st Aug. AED 690. Khor Al Maqtaa. Sun-Thu 10am-3pm. Contact: 02 818 8888, ritzcarlton.com
Keeping your tresses silky smooth is a tough job in this climate. Tame your mane at Swish by Immaclife throughout August where you can get a blow dry and brow shaping for AED 200 instead of AED 300. 30th July is also Friendship Day where you and a friend can receive a half-price blow dry for just AED 100. Al Hadeel, Al Bandar. Contact: 055 360 6768, firstname.lastname@example.org
Swish by Immaclife
For an indulgent spa session, head to Remède Spa where you can enjoy a complimentary 30-minute express facial or body scrub when you book a signature customised massage. Valid until 31st Aug. From AED 595. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Corniche West. Daily 10am 11pm. Contact: 02 694 4100, remedespaabudhabi.com
There’s nothing like paying less and getting more. The 90 for 60 offer at Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort means you’ll get a 90-minute massage but only pay for 60 minutes. AED 330. Corniche East. Contact: 02 697 0272, email@example.com
Need to do some shopping? Now is the perfect time what with the numerous summer promotions taking place across the city. Abu Dhabi Mall’s retailers are offering a slew of promotions, including up to 70 percent off at Nest for Kids, H&M and Zara, up to 50 percent off at Lacoste, Mothercare and Call It Spring and up to 60 percent off at Go Sport. Visit: abudhabi-mall.com
Fancy winning AED 100,000 in cash? Of course you do. If you visit Yas Island this summer, that dream could become a reality with the Treasure on Yas campaign. For every AED 300 you spend at participating attractions, you’ll get one entry into the weekly draw, open until 31st August, to win AED 100,000 in cash, or one of Yas Mall’s shopping vouchers totalling AED 100,000 in value. If you visit one of the island’s theme parks, you’ll double your chances to win. Visit a Treasure on Yas kiosk at Yas Mall, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi or Yas Waterworld to register your receipts and enter. Visit: yasisland.ae, treasureonyas.ae
Take your summer up a gear with the summer specials at Yas Marina Circuit. Between now and 31st August, the iconic racetrack is open for car fanatics to try a range of experiences at a discounted price. Race around the F1 track at the wheel of a super car like a Jaguar F-type S Coupe or a Formula Yas 3000 with a 25 percent discount on DriveYAS Experiences, or hit the drag strip in a Chevrolet Camaro at a discounted rate of AED 325. Yas Island. DriveYAS prices vary. Visit: yasmarinacircuit.com
If you’re looking for things to do, why not learn a new sport this summer? The academy lesson and membership bundle at Abu Dhabi City Golf Club is being offered from AED 999 as part of the Summer in the City campaign. Between now and 30th September you can enjoy lessons and unlimited use of the driving range, plus 25 percent discount on green fees. Al Saada Street, Al Mushrif. Contact: 02 445 9600, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Friends & Family Pass is back at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi this summer. Head to the theme park with at least three friends or family members and you can enjoy 25 percent off general admission tickets purchased online and 15 percent off tickets purchased at the park itself. Valid until 17th Oct. From AED 221, free for children under three years old. Yas Island. Contact: 02 496 8000, ferrariworldabudhabi.com
Want to chill poolside with the family? Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana is offering beach and pool day passes for just AED 65 on weekdays, AED 85 on weekends and AED 40 for children under 16 years old. You can play in the outdoor pools or relax on the private beach all day long. Corniche West. Contact: 02 657 0182, email@example.com
With the summer beach club offer at Beach Rotana you can spend the whole day on a 120m private stretch of sand, cool off in the pool, head to the fitness centre, play tennis or squash, or unwind in the sauna while youngsters are entertained in the kids’ club. AED 95 for adults, AED 150 for couples, AED 80 for children aged five to 17. Al Zahiyah. Contact: 02 697 9302, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ladies, grab your girls for a day by the pool. Every Friday at Aloft Abu Dhabi you can get pool access at 50 percent off, meaning you’ll pay just AED 54 for some fun in the sun, plus three drinks, too. Next to Adnec. Fri 11am-3pm. Contact: 02 654 5147, aloftabudhabi.com
Take advantage of half price hops and grape with the 12 Hours of Happiness promotion at Aquarium. Yas Marina. Sun-Thu noon-7pm. Contact: 02 565 0007, capitalmotion.com/aquarium-yas-marina
Enjoy 50 percent off select beverages and 25 percent off food at Iris Yas Island. Yas Marina. Mon-Sat 6pm-8pm. Contact: 055 160 5636, facebook.com/irisyasisland
The Summer Lunch Deal offer at Pepper Restaurant includes unlimited starters and desserts plus a main course for AED 119 per person. Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, Al Aman. Daily noon-3pm. Contact: 02 501 6444, accorhotels.com
Business lunch at New Season Restaurant is just AED 55 with unlimited juices. Sat Thu 12.30pm-3.30pm. City Seasons Al Hamra, Electra Street. Contact: 02 672 5000, cityseasonshotels.com
Grab friends and family for the Fiserhman’s Friday Brunch where you can enjoy two for the price of one. AED 180. Until 27th July. Royal Rose Hotel Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed the First Street, near ADCB. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Contact: 02 588 9950, royalrosehotel.com
Between 14th July and 1st September, Saturday is kids-eat-free day at select dining outlets in Abu Dhabi Mall, including Chili’s, Denny’s, Famous Dave’s, Subway and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Al Zahiyah. Contact: 02 6454858, abudhabi-mall.com
Students in the UAE are set to take on cyber crime with the introduction of a new initiative that fosters a secure electronic lifestyle.
The Emirates Cyber Ambassadors initiative by the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) will train participants on issues surrounding a safe e-culture.
The successful pilot phase began in February and saw students aged 14 to 18 years old take part in various training workshops and information sessions.
Mohammed Gheyath, executive director, information security regulatory affairs at TRA, said: “The [pilot] results were promising, which led us to complement the revision and selection of 30 male and 30 female students to represent the initiative.”
The programme is in line with the UAE Vision 2021 to promote a secure online environment in the UAE. It’s implementation coincides with the release of a report by an international cyber security firm that stated that internet users in the UAE are highly susceptible to online fraud.
Russian-based Kaspersky Lab published the Spam and Phishing 2018 report, which states that the UAE is the fifth most-targeted country in the world for phishing.
“Social network phishing is a form of cybercrime that involves the theft of personal data from a victim’s social network account,” explained Nadezhda Demidova, lead web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
Facebook was revealed as the preferred platform for cyber fraudsters, followed by Vkontakte – a Russian social networking service – and then LinkedIn.
To avoid such scams, the public are reminded to always check link address before opening them, refrain from submitting personal details online when using public wifi and avoid sharing sensitive data via unfamiliar emails.
Yas Island has announced a jam-packed calendar of events for the remainder of 2018.
A total of 40 new and returning events will take place on Yas Island starting with UNITE with Tomorrowland on 28th July at du Forum. The season will end with the New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Yas Marina on 31st December.
New events announced include the Yas Gaming Festival from 22nd August to 1st September and the food-based Big Grill Festival at Yas Links from 6th to 8th December.
Old favourites include the Caribbean Beach Festival on 5th October, Yas Movies In The Park from 18th October, Taste of Abu Dhabi from 8th November, Neorun on 2nd November, Cinema Under The Stars from 2nd November, Abu Dhabi Pet Festival from 26th October, Yas Fitness Festival from 16th October and the Winter Carnival from 11th December.
Celebrations for Eid al-Adha – predicted to begin around 21st August – will also take place across the island with events in Yas Mall’s Cascade Dining, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi and a fireworks show at Yas Marina.
Gerardo Llanes, executive director of destination management at Yas Island, said: “We are very excited to announce our calendar of events and to bring ten new sensational events to Yas Island for the very first time, alongside old favourites that our visitors have come to know and love.
“With our varied line-up of international shows, events and activities, we have no doubt that our visitors from far and wide will enjoy unforgettable experiences this events season on Yas Island.”
More than 1,000 eco-friendly taxis are set to be on Abu Dhabi’s roads by the end of the year.
Tawasul Transportation Company is leading the drive, having purchased hybrid vehicles to replace its current fleet of 1,347 taxis. Fuelled by a combination of electric power and petrol, the Toyota Camry hybrid vehicles are a step in the right direction for Abu Dhabi’s green transport plans.
The new models feature innovative regenerative braking systems, allowing vehicles to capture the momentum – or kinetic energy – created when a driver brakes, and turn this into electricity that recharges the car’s on-board battery, the result being that the cars can cover a lot of ground before the need arises to refuel.
Arabia Taxi, another Abu Dhabi-based company, has also joined the electric changeover, purchasing 454 of the hybrid cars.
Saud Abbasi, managing director of Al Futtaim Toyota, said that the hybrid model delivers 70 percent better fuel efficiency, and can greatly decrease operating costs for taxi operators as gasoline expenses are reduced significantly.
The developments are a positive move for Abu Dhabi in achieving its goal of reducing harmful carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2050.
A new project has been launched to establish the nation as a leading ecotourism destination.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) has unveiled the National Ecotourism Project to put Abu Dhabi and the UAE at the forefront of the sustainable tourism industry.
In 2017, the UAE attracted over 15 million visitors, a 6.5 percent growth on 2016, and now plans are being put in place as part of an effort to attract over 25 million annual visitors by 2021.
The MoCCAE has created a mobile app and microsite named the UAE’s National Wonders to target travellers who have an interest in conservationism and want to visit destinations where they can minimise their ecological footprint.
The newly created digital platforms will showcase some of the country’s 43 protected areas to potential visitors including the Mangrove National Park and Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve in Abu Dhabi.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, minister of climate change and environment, said: “Over the past few years, the pioneering vision and directives of the UAE leadership have enabled the country to consolidate its leading global status across diverse sectors, with travel and tourism at the forefront.
“The national ecotourism project is a result of the country’s commitment to preserving the environment, a commitment instilled in its people by the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”
Our old friend the weekend is here and it’s time to start planning…
Forget spending Saturday with the wasted weekend feeling of regret. There’s so much going on across the city over the next few days.
Thursday 12th July
Bring your swimsuit and get ready to go back in time with DJ Elie at the Revival Pool Party. Enjoy a night filled with hits from the 70s and 80s as you float through the rooftop pool overlooking Abu Dhabi’s skyline. AED 100 for men with two free drinks, free entry for ladies. Level Lounge, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Street. 9pm-2am. Contact: 02 616 6800, facebook.com/CrownePlazaAUH
Wind down after a hectic week to the sound of Rony Sarkis at Urban retrEAT. The new foodie destination at Yas Mall has loads of street food on offer so you can grab a bite and enjoy some live music. Free entry. Yas Mall. 8pm-10pm. Visit: urbanretreat.me
Head to Throwback Thursday and enjoy the sounds of the 90s as Dj Nuff Said blasts out the beats to get you on the dance floor. Free entry. Empire Yas, Yas Viceroy. 10pm-3.30am. Contact: 050 501 5052, facebook.com/empireyas
Friday 13th July
Fancy some free food? Joud Café has revamped its menu and to mark the occasion, the homely cafe is giving away free food samples this Friday. Swing by to try the new flavours. Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, near Mubarak Bin Mohammed School, Al Bateen. 1pm-10pm. Contact: 056 525 8235, instagram.com/joudcafe
Looking for a way to fight fatigue? Join Ria Haffar at Bodytree Studio for the pop-up satya yoga class and wind down after a busy week. AED 100 including nectar juice, booking essential. Corner of Hazza Bin Zayed and Mubarak Bin Mohammed Streets. 9am-10.30am. Contact: 02 443 4448, email@example.com
Ever wanted to try your hand at painting? Get yourself along to the Beauty of the Palm workshop with Azza Al Qubaisi and take part in the interactive frond and palm eye design workshop to create your own masterpiece. Supplies will be provided. Free entry, booking essential. The Majlis at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, Saadiyat Island. Fri and Sat 11am-1pm. Contact: 02 407 1221, bit.ly/2yPRQFc
Saturday 14th July
Join the Pop Art Movement art class with instructor Nisreen Simrin and see if you can channel your inner Andy Warhol at this hands-on workshop. Who knows, you could be a natural. Supplies provided. AED 175, booking essential. Art Central, Reem Island, Boutik Mall. 4pm-6pm. Contact: 02 679 6795, firstname.lastname@example.org
Does your burger game compete with the pros? Widen your horizons and learn how to make jones the grocer’s signature sandwich with the deli’s head chef at the wagyu burger workshop. AED 295 including recipe card and jones apron, booking required. Pearl Plaza building, Al Khalidiyah. 7pm-9pm. Contact: 02 639 5883, jonesthegrocer.com
Don’t forget to tag us in your photos at @adwuae on Twitter and Instagram and @abudhabiworld on Facebook – who knows, you might even be featured in the magazine!
How does this action film redefine the way we view disability?
There’s a particular trope we look for when it comes to action heroes. Some, like Die Hard’s John McClane, might be a grizzled cop with a point to prove, while others, like The Fast and the Furious franchise’s Dominic Toretto, are ex-cons on the wrong side of the law.
But whether lawmaker, breaker or futuristic cyborg, the action heroes we know and love are usually lone wolves with a good stock of one-liners and a very firm sense of righting some wrongs – often with their fists.
What we don’t look for, though, is vulnerability. McClane would never have foiled the terrorist plot if he’d had a crisis of confidence that stopped him pulling the trigger at a vital moment, and the fear of being caught by law enforcement didn’t seem to factor into Toretto’s daily grind of hijacking cars.
It’s vulnerability, however, that has become the defining factor of Skyscraper, the newest action film scheduled to hit screens on 12th July.
Starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, the film follows Will Sawyer, an out-of-action amputee soldier who assesses building security systems for skyscrapers after retiring from active duty. Tasked with evaluating the safety of the world’s tallest and most advanced building – spoiler alert, it’s not the Burj Khalifa, though that does get its screen time – Will notices some significant security flaws, all of which are roundly dismissed by his boss.
When terrorists exploit the building’s weaknesses and attack, turning it into a towering inferno, Will is forced to act, to save his family and the lives of all within.
For Johnson, himself from a family of military stock, the action film was the chance to shed more light on how disability is perceived, both on- and off-screen.
“My character is a disabled US war vet and former FBI hostage rescue team leader,” he noted in a post on Instagram, revealing his new role. “This character is inspired by the thousands of disabled US veterans and war heroes I’ve had the honour of shaking hands with over the years.
“Research for this film has been a real education for me from meeting with the world’s top skyscraper architects to spending amazing time with our US combat and disabled vets.”
With plenty of stunts, falls and jumps galore – one in particular that defies the laws of physics – it seems like disability can’t hold Will back from being the very definition of a true action hero.
But for Johnson, that’s the point: disability shouldn’t be a defining factor for anyone, fictional or not.
“It was inspiring, but the main thing I got from it is that we need to normalise disabilities,” he added later in an interview with Esquire. “We need to get to a place where they are just totally looked past.”
Also starring: Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Noah Taylor and Kevin Rankin