The Tower REVIEW


Written by Guillermo Troncoso.

the tower

Tower Sky, a luxurious building in the heart of Seoul, South Korea, is holding an extravagant party on Christmas Eve. When disaster strikes, the tower becomes a death-trap for those left in the building, as well as the firefighters that have come to their rescue.

The first quarter of this film is an exercise in cliches and generic character set-ups. Of course, it’s necessary to meet as many of these future victims as possible before disaster strikes; our empathy depends on it. It’s just beyond frustrating when every one of these scenes seems to have been ripped off another similar film. Every character is there to simply tick off the list of personas that these films always seem to have.

Oh, and a Christmas party in a skyscraper that is just waiting for an incident? I was expecting John McClane to appear at any second.

This initial set-up may be cliche and stereotypical, but the truth is that we don’t really go into a movie like this caring about the introductions and the minor issues that these characters initially have. It’s a disaster movie, give us destruction and peril! That, I’m happy to say, is something it does quite well.

After an impressive helicopter sequence that sets off a disastrous chain of events, the film takes us on an exciting, entertaining, and often nerve-wracking ride. Honestly, there are some really suspenseful sequences here. The special effects are first-rate and the sets are very impressive. Director Ji-hoon Kim squeezes out every bit tension he can get. He’s got a slick style that enables this film to be placed up against your usual Hollywood fare.

The cast all perform quite well. These characters end up growing on you after a while and you’ll actually feel for them as they encounter their individual fates. Although, when it comes to the characters, it seems as though the screenwriter may have bitten off more than he could chew. The film obviously wanted to tell a story that covered many individuals, but there just isn’t enough time and some are just left by the wayside, figuratively and literally speaking.

For the most part, The Tower stands high as decent disaster flick. The stunt-work, pyrotechnics, and special effects all work together in chaotic harmony to create a nail-biting drama that not only aims for your adrenaline buttons, but your emotional ones as well.


– G.T.