THE TOWER (2012)
Korean disaster flick The Tower is basically an updated version of the classic 1974 disaster flick The Towering Inferno and is a darn entertaining one at that. Set on Christmas Eve, with a party being held in massive twin luxury apartment complexes, disaster strikes when a helicopter carrying man-made snow to blanket the towers festively, crashes into one of the buildings and ignites a soon out of control fire. Of course, we found out earlier that the sprinkler system is malfunctioning on upper levels and the buildings would create a draft that would make flying helicopters close-by dangerous, but the building chairman orders the party thrown anyway to avoid embarrassment. Now it’s a race against time as a team of firefighters battle to get everyone out before structural failure causes the building to be demolished to avoid falling over on the rest of the city.
Sure, all the disaster clichés are present with the prerequisite melodrama between characters, the system malfunctions and the bureaucratic arrogance that ignores a recipe for disaster when one is obvious, but director Kim Ji-hoon handles them with such skill that they work well enough, and he moves the story at a fast, tension-filled pace so we don’t notice how silly some of it all is. The film is action packed, once it gets going and there are a lot of fun, suspenseful sequences and daring heroics to keep us thoroughly entertained and from questioning any plot holes or lapses in logic. And to an extent, that’s what a good popcorn flick is supposed to do. The film is highlighted by good performances from its cast and some really impressive and abundant SPFX.
A charming and really fun throw-back to the great melodramatic disaster flicks of the 70s with some nice hi-tech modern touches! A very entertaining movie!
Rated 3 and 1/2 (out of 4) imperiled Korean cuties!