Imagine a film celebrating a few of today’s exciting young film and TV and theatre actors, Russell Tovey (Being Human), Sheridan Smith ( Legally Blonde) and Jack O’Connell (Harry Brown), and delivering what really should have been a straight-to-DVD film and this is what we have.
The UK seems to be able to deliver three types of films – urban dramas, romantic comedies and films starring Dame Judi or Dame Maggie! (yes, Potter and Skyfall do feature the previous two Dames!)
After the success of Attack on The Block and the likes of Ill Manors and Kidulthood, it seems that the UK is happy churning out an endless supply of gritty films containing downtrodden characters living on urban estates, and fighting for their very impoverished existence. Tower Block is no different, but delivers none of the punch of the aforementioned films.
The plot – a youth is murdered by two youths on a High Rise Tower Block (only those living on the top level are still in residence as the rest have been re-housed) and the inhabitants turn a blind eye due to fears of retaliation from the suspects when questioned by the police. Shortly afterwards, a bloodbath ensues as residents are subsequently picked off one by one, with alarming swiftness by a sniper, whose origins and motives are shrouded in mystery (note the sarcasm). The remaining residents then pull their resources together in a bid for survival, trying to outwit the sniper and escape their imprisonment.
Sheridan Smith playing the plucky Becky, who seems to take control of the situation, delivering a semi satisfactory performance, but the standout is Kurtis (Jack O’Connell) the angry young man in charge of the ‘protection racket’, who now finds himself in alliance with those he was trying to ‘protect’
The film delivers nothing new, but perhaps in its favour it appears somewhat slightly claustrophobic due to the location of the set pieces, such as shadowy corridors and stairwells. The survivors are pretty much bumped off in the order you expect, until the last few are standing. Then they meet their terroriser and the film then trundles on to a somewhat tacky demise, the explanations are rather lame and unsatisfactory. So many questions could be asked, but frankly I didn’t care for the answers.
Reviewer: Stephen Sclater