Today: February 24, 2024

Tower Block

Tower Block is one of a trio of films from 2012 that enters the cannon of self-contained action thrillers.

Tower Block is one of a trio of films from 2012 that
enters the cannon of self-contained action thrillers.

Along with The Raid and Dredd, this is a film that once again
pits a group of characters against untenable odds to try and escape the titular
building amid heavy gunfire, in-fighting and endless corridors of danger and
mayhem.

When the
residents of a soon to be demolished building turn a blind eye to a local
beating and murder they soon realise they will have to pay the price for their
silence. Waking one Saturday
morning they find bullets flying through their windows as a sniper exacts their
own brand of justice. With booby
traps set-up and the sniper’s scope always watching, the miss-match group of
survivors learn there is no escaping the Tower Block. Becky (Sheridan Smith)
takes it upon herself to lead them but with local thug Kurtis (Jack O’Connell) proving less than
helpful it’s not long before arguments ensue.

Call it
fortuitous or good marketing but when another Die Hard movie comes into cinemas there is something fun about
seeing a hero, this one taking on the shapely form of Sheridan Smith rather
than Bruce Willis, trying to save people in a high rise building in a white
vest. And yes it does get
progressively grubbier.

Tower Block
doesn’t live up to Die Hard’s sense of fun, instead aiming for a more gritty
little survival thriller but it does pose enough ‘what would you do’ questions
in the mind to maintain an interest.

While the budget
maybe low, directors James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson keep the tension high
throughout. At times violent, with
bullets pinging around at high velocity and sending people flying in a splash
of blood, the film makes good use of its claustrophobic setting without feeling
the need to push the envelope.

The only problem
arises from a lack of dramatic pull to keep you invested in the storyline. There is an element of mystery as to
who the shooter is and why they have decided to target everyone left in the
building, including young children.
By the climax you’re given answers but none that truly satisfy.

Thankfully a
solid cast of characters maintains the interest. Ralph Brown
brings a nice moral compass and world-weary edge to his character. Sheridan Smith proves an able lead and
a more than believable leader of the group. But it is Jack O’Connell who continues to dazzle with his
brand of loveable rogue. Were it
not for his smart-mouthed Kurtis, Tower Block would be devoid of any real
comedic release. Always cocky and
quick with a jibe he proves towards the end that while his character is a
horrible little sod, he’s one you’d rather have with you than against.

With a tight
running time and a gripping little premise, Tower Block might not do anything
hugely original but it’s still a tense little British thriller. Besides where else are you going to get
to see a former Hollyoaks cast member get their brains splattered across the
screen?

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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