6 out of 10
Release Date: 21st September 2012
Cast: Sheridan Smith, Jack O’Connell, Ralph Brown, Russell Tovey, Julie Graham, Harry McEntire, Nabil Elouahabi, Steven Cree, Kane Robinson aka Kano, Jill Bailey, Monserrat Lombard, Michael Legge, Tony Jayawardena, Loui Batley with Jamie Thomas King and Christopher Fulford
Writer: James Moran
Trailer: TOWER BLOCK
Tower Block is one of those highly implausible but thoroughly entertaining popcorn movies. It’s a thin line getting the balance right between utter tosh and sheer enjoyment but this madness manages it. Tower Block wins purely down to memorable performances, a hair brained plot complete with gigantic holes and wonderful dialogue. When a film is this wantonly daft why complain? Why is there a need for any degree of scrutiny? Only the most cynical and jaded would toss a bad review its way. The high profile plot, as it is, singles out the top floor residents of an otherwise empty tower block. Due for demolition, the stubborn residents are sitting tight waiting for the Council to rehouse them. Then one Sunday morning, a sniper begins to pick the residents off with cold blooded precision. Huh? Yes, a sniper. What were you expecting? A Ken Loach style treatise on hard council estate living? Well to begin with, maybe, but it soon settles into what could be Mike Leigh’s Die Hard. This is the closest we’ll get anyway. So to continue with the story, the survivors lie low in the communal corridor and either think of ways to escape or to wait for help to arrive. To add stress to strife many of the survivors are at their wits end and are amidst a wave of mass panic after having just seen assorted loved ones plop face first into their coco-pops and brain matter.
So, who could be behind the killings? Dodgy property developer (CHRISTOPHER FULFORD – MILLIONS), disgruntled police man (STEVEN CREE – THE KNOT) or could it even be Jeremy Kyle, taking his day job one step too far? Various types led by a feisty blonde in a Bruce Willis singlet (SHERIDAN SMITH – HYSTERIA) and a brilliant Jack O’Connell (EDEN LAKE) as a mad drug dealer and low level thug try out several doomed attempts at escape. With a very high body count this means a death every five minutes meaning Tower Block is never less than fiendishly gripping. The movie makes the most of it’s claustrophobic setting and although it misses several hundred ways to out-smart the sniper, it has characters you can actually root for. For instance, the whole floor pays Jack O’Connell £20.00 per week protection money. When he says that he’s just going to sit the whole event out by getting pissed in his flat and going to sleep, he gets forced into earning his money! “What do we pay you for?” the most exasperated of the group rant. A brilliant twist amongst many familiar ones. Amongst the other dwindling residents are reliable TV favourites like Julie Graham (BEDROOMS & HALLWAYS) as an over-protective mother and Ralph Brown (WAYNE’S WORLD 2) as an ex-military man who probably could have saved more lives if he had taken control of the situation instead of leaving it up to better looking yet clueless sportier types and alcoholics (RUSSELL TOVEY – GRABBERS). UK Grime superstar Kano (TOP BOY – TV) also puts in a spirited turn as a thug who may have more to do with the killings than he’s letting on. Well, you know, it’s Scooby Doo all the way here at the Tower Block, even down to the unmasking of the killer with a line that had me and Joe Pesci II in stitches. Possibly the best line of the year! (I won’t spoil it!) (ed’s note from 2015 – I forgot it!)
To re-cap, it’s sheer entertainment of the low rent kind. Don’t expect miracles but at last here is a film that I can happily recommend as “So Bad, It’s Great!”… A Big Mac of a movie. Extra props to Sheridan Smith and Jack O’Connell with their committed and very memorable performances.
6 out of 10
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Sheridan Smith: Cilla (TV), The Harry Hill Movie, The Powder Room, Hysteria, Quartet, How To Stop Being a Loser
- Jack O’Connell: Tulip Fever, Unbroken, ’71, Starred Up, 300 – part II, The Liability, Private Peaceful, Weekender, Harry Brown, Eden Lake, This Is England, Skins (TV)
- Ralph Brown: All Things To All Men, Jack The Giant Slayer, I Anna, Stoker,Huge, Killing Bono, The Boat That Rocked, Straightheads, Flood, Exorcist – The Beginning, Mean Machine, Star Wars – The Phantom Menace, Up N’ Under, Amistad, Wayne’s World 2, Undercover Blues, The Crying Game, Alien 3, Diamond Skulls, Scandal, Buster, Withnail & I
- Russell Tovey: Blackwood, Effie Gray, Muppets Most Wanted, Grabbers, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (voice), Huge, The History Boys, Being Human (TV)
- Julie Graham: The Sleeping Room, Shetland (TV), The Bill (TV), Survivors (TV), Some Voices, Bedrooms and Hallways, Preaching To The Perverted, The Near Room, Blonde Fist, Silent Scream, The Big Man, The Fruit Machine
- Nabil Elouahabi: Rise of the Footsoldier 2, Junkhearts, Deserter, In This World, Code 46
- Steven Cree: Marvellous, May I Kill U?, The Knot, Huge
- Kane Robinson aka Kano: Top Boy (TV)
- Monserrat Lombard: 8 Minutes Idle, Outside Bet, St Trinians 2
- Michael Legge: Angela’s Ashes, Whatever Happened To Harold Smith?
- Tony Jayawardena: Screwed (2011)
- Jamie Thomas King: Mr Turner, Storage 24, The Tudors (TV)
- Christopher Fulford: Pierrepoint, Millions, D-Tox, Hotel, Bedrooms and Hallways, Immortal Beloved, Dirty Weekend, Mountains Of The Moon, Resurrected, A Prayer For The Dying
SEE JOE PESCI II’s fiendish review in the comments box below… HAHAHA.