CURRY & A CAN OF BEER SPECIAL
, 30 Sep 2012
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
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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 eithe rthink 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 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 Tower Block is never less than 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 p*ssed 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!)
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
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