21 Jul 2013

'Tower Block' Review

Directors: James Nunn, Ronnie Thomson
Writer: James Moran
Stars: Sherdan Smith, Russell Tovey, Jack O'Connell, Ralph Brown

Several months after witnessing a murder, the residence of tower block 31 find that they are being picked off one-by-one by an unknown sniper, and the group realize that they are in a battle for their lives.

Tower Block, the 2012 Brit-Thriller from James Nunn is what you would expect from this sort of genre flick, a snappy plot with a very formulaic delivery, this demand of thrills occurred with 2008 creepy home-invasion horror The Strangers, and although these are completely two different types of movies, they have a lot of similarities.


Ambitious surely, but it's evident that there is just simply nowhere else to take this film after the tense establishing act, this powerful telling maybe would have been more suited as a short film, but as a full feature length, the material is just too repetitive to think otherwise. It comes to a sudden dead end once they discover the possible yet limited areas to go, and from then on in, the material becomes recycled to an extent were the movie almost becomes too predictable for it's own good; and with a film depending solely on intensity, then that becomes a pretty big problem, and Tower Block never quite seems to get over it.

Despite many of its problems, there is actually developed characters behind this, the transformation for some is fascinating and the it's interesting to find yourself rooting for someone who at the beginning was the very person you wanted dead. Jack O'Connell in particular is superb in playing the thug to the misunderstood trouble maker; that's not really much of a transition but the change is pretty blatant, and satisfying. The characters dominate the show and it's them that heighten the tension to a near unbearable stature in the first act, and despite the loss of momentum from the start to the end, the performance balance the intensity enough to keep us engaged to an extent were despite the off-balance, we want to watch this to the end.

VERDICT: Tower Block may not be the slickest or most intense thriller to come out of the UK, nor the smartest, and although the nerve-shredding mood established at the start decreases with progression, this is still a sharp, gritty and intense thrill-ride that may not be edge-of-your-seat, but is definitely engaging enough for a viewing.



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