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  • As far as disaster movies go, 'The Tower' hardly reinvents the wheel, but even though it sticks to formula, audiences looking for B-movie thrills will love the adrenaline rush it gives you from start to finish. Clearly inspired by the 1974 Hollywood classic 'The Towering Inferno', it uses the same premise of a luxurious skyscraper that catches fire one fateful day to devise a continuous series of high-octane action sequences that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    True to its genre, the first half-hour is spent introducing the bevy of characters whose fates will intertwine. Chief among them is the building's security and maintenance operations manager Dae-ho (Kim Sang- gyeong), a single father to a precocious young girl, Hana, whom he promises to that it will snow on Christmas Eve. That is also the reason why Hana eventually finds herself at the ill-fated Tower Sky residential complex, made up of two adjacent towers connected by a sky bridge at the 70th floor.

    Dae-ho is infatuated with kitchen manager Yoon-hee (Son Ye-jin), who offers to look after Hana while he goes about ensuring that the preparations for the management's lavish Christmas Eve party go according to plan. The occasion turns out to be the reason of the calamity, as the management's egotistical President Cho (Cha In-pyo) arranges a fleet of helicopters to rain snow down from near the top of the building – despite being earlier advised of possible strong vertical drafts - just so he can impress the residents.

    After seeing his wish of a 'White Christmas' come true, an even more wowing spectacle awaits when a sudden gust causes one of the helicopters to lose control and crash into one of the twin towers. Immediately, the upper floors become engulfed in flames, leading to the activation of the men stationed at the Yeoudio Fire Station – including the veteran captain Young-kee (Sul Kyung-gu) who forsakes his promise to his wife to spend the night with her in order to join his comrades in the firefight.

    Young-kee turns out to be a key player in the rescue of those trapped, as Kim Sang-don's workmanlike screenplay sets him up as the proverbial selfless hero whose bravery is ultimately milked for high-pitched theatrics. The rest of the characters are similarly delineated in terms of tropes – whether Dae-ho as the nerve-wracked father constantly worrying about the safety of his daughter, or President Cho as the devious businessman cum de facto villain of the film. The most inspired bit of Sang-don's writing is in the addition of a group of devout Christians gathered to celebrate Christmas for comic relief, whose prayers for help are inadvertently always answered.

    It is to director Kim Ji-hoon's credit that the film never has a dull moment despite the formulaic script. Right from the start, he confidently demonstrates his ability to navigate seamlessly between the various points-of-view of the various characters, and that adroitness proves useful in maintaining a tense and taut atmosphere throughout the movie. He also keeps the movie well-paced and easy to follow, with the first half focused on extinguishing the fire from within its source and the second on evacuating as many people as possible before the weakened tower collapses under its own weight.

    Within that two-act narrative, Ji-hoon engineers some truly gripping sequences. The helicopter crash is the first of the money-shots, and by deftly combining actual images with CGI, it amply demonstrates that the Koreans have caught up with Hollywood in terms of visual effects. Besides the spectacle, two particular scenes stand out – the first where a ragtag group of survivors make a perilous crossing from one tower to another using the sky bridge, whose steel and glass structure is at risk of collapsing; and the second where who's left of the same group pack themselves into an elevator and attempt to free-fall it down around 60 floors to escape the crumbling tower.

    Next to the top-drawer special effects, the cast and their acting unfortunately play second fiddle. Nonetheless, they play their roles with conviction, in particular Sang-gyeong and Kyung-gu – though the most memorable actor here is not one of the leading cast, but rather Kim In-hwon, who plays a jocular firefighter hailed as a saviour by the group of Christians after turning up at a particularly opportune moment.

    Still, the main attraction is the visuals, which under Ji-hoon's confident hand (who was also behind 'Sector 7'), prove to be very impressive for an Asian film. Any criticism that the pleasures to be had here are no more than B-movie thrills is moot – after all, that's exactly what 'The Tower' intends to deliver. Indeed, if you're looking for a gripping two-hour adrenaline high, then this big-budget action disaster film is just that shot in the arm for sheer exhilaration.
  • Is this a copy of Tower Inferno, most definitely.

    Is worse?. Actually no, it is better.

    The Tower Inferno was one of my favorites disaster movies and not because of the movie itself but for the topic at hand. I always had an eerie feeling of big tower buildings as much as planes. Human made things in such an impressive scale can fail and knowing technology all to well, this is a disaster scenery i'm usually more scared of.

    The Tower inferno was fun but tedious, The Tower is fun and exciting.

    IT is actually quite a shock, because the movie was incredible well directed, the first act was all too happy and did a good job in presenting the characters, the incident take its time to happen and this is a very good thing because it built suspense.


    By the time it happens, this movie is a thrill ride, it will not stop and it will keep you guessing what else is gonna fail, the scenery was breathtaking, the effects are incredible good, this is a big production and Koreans now show they can manage to do big movies like Hollywood, and as much fun as them.

    What I most like about this one is the emphasis on the fireman, I always found that profession to be the most honorable of all and this is very well displayed through the movie, they are respected, honored and put into a incredible good light through the movie.

    In contrast to American movies, the hero is not saving the day to be a hero, he does not wave flags like Americans, they just do their jobs, it is amazing how good this was captured on screen.

    The main leads all do their job very well and although there are some sentimental parts like in the majority of Korean movies, they are handled all too well and they just work.

    This movie is amazing, it has all the ingredients of the disaster movies, the director really did a superb job and I am sure you will have lots of fun with it.

    It is a copy of The Tower Inferno?, well, yes ! for the most part... SO WHAT?

    Americans do tons of re-re-remakes over and over again and nobody complains, it's not fair to do this to the Koreans, they managed to do a better Tower Inferno, by a long margin.

    Keep up the good work! Now I am incredible excited about the next production coming out of Korean Soil !

    Love it!
  • If your looking for a good action pack, dramatic movies that keeps you on the edge of your seat, then this the right movie for you. Once you get past the character building, setting the mood, at the beginning the movie is magic.
  • This director's previous film was the poorly made yet watchable trash monster movie entitled "Sector 7" (2011). "The Tower" (2012) is a big improvement in terms of overall quality.

    If this isn't an official remake of "The Towering Inferno" (1974), it probably should have been. There are quite a few differences, but the similarities are too numerous to be a coincidence. A Christmas Eve party at a luxury residential building takes a horrific turn when a fire breaks out. The opening half hour has some hit-or-miss humor, but the characters are given color. The incident that causes the fire is unexpected and cool. The terror and panic that quickly follows is also well staged. Thereafter, events move at breakneck speed and there are a number of dangerous, thrilling moments (some of which involve side effects of the fire instead of the fire itself). Direction is impressive and exciting.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to say that "The Tower" is a better and more entertaining film than "The Towering Inferno." The 1974 film was good but overlong and oddly tedious. This 2012 film has better pacing and more excitement. However, I would recommend watching them back-to-back for a fun, firey evening!
  • this film is really good all actors are good and the story is very good , i personally like disaster movies and this one got me people here are complaining and giving bad ratings because its a copy of tower inferno i mean tower inferno was released in 1974 the filming quality back then was so bad so why not make another movie same story with good quality and better destruction effect ... today most gamer video games you like to play first person shooter games for example and you play the same game but different release every year and you don't complain about it even though it's the same concept which is shooting in different scenarios and if you are not gamer then you can take Xfactor show as example each year same thins which is singing ... so in my opinion watching a same story film after 38 years is totally fine by me i mean in this duration a new generation is born and it's there right to enjoy the movie in 2012 like you enjoyed it back in 1974...
  • The Tower: A 2012 Korean disaster movie.


    Story Summary: It's a Korean movie about a high rise tower going up in flames. What more do you really need to know?

    This movie hearkens back to the days when Hollywood made self contained disaster flicks on a regular basis; i.e. "Poseidon Adventure", the "Airport" (not "Airplane") movies, and the like, and, of course, the obvious comparison being "Towering Inferno". There's not a whole lot of variances afforded when you make a film like this. After all, it's a disaster film in a ship, building, plane, or what have you, so, it's basically just try to mitigate the damage, save as many people as you can, and see who (if anybody) makes it out alive. What you can do though, is try to have the viewers invest in some of the characters, provide an engrossing film with a decent enough story, some nice pacing & action, and, not make your stunts & effects look like crap. Does this film succeed on those fronts?...Yeah, pretty much.

    Everything centers around the buildup to the Christmas celebration at the fabulous Sky Towers buildings. The first 30 minutes of the film or so are devoted to introducing the people who'll be the integral players in the disaster to come, they include; various hotel & building employees, some guests and love interests, the firemen who show up on the scene, some side groups, and the kid (gotta have a kid involved; this is a mandatory disaster movie rule). There's some ominous foreshadowing about high winds and a busted sprinkler system along the way, but screw it; let's send in the helicopters to drop fake snow on the buildings to appease our VIP guests as planned. What could possibly go wrong here?

    OK, it's holiday party time! Where are those snow dropping helicopters?...Oh, here comes one now! Uh-oh!...What was that about the strong winds and a bad sprinkler system again?...From there, this is Disaster Movie 101, and, it's pretty entertaining for the most part.

    This movie is what it is, meaning it's basically a popcorn action flick with little room for much else. The entire cast does a fine enough job, but there's not much for them to do past the ¼ mark other than run for their lives. There are some decent action set pieces where the characters have to escape the flames while traversing various floors & elevator shafts, navigate sky walks & scaffolding before they collapse, etc...This is all done with a fairly solid mix of live action, stunt work, and CGI. You also get your standard dose of Korean melodrama along the way (of course), but, it's not really any more melodramatic than those old American disaster flicks mentioned above; this movie really does play just like those films, except it's more modern and from a different country.

    Bottom Line: It works well enough overall!...If you're looking for a fantastic story & dialogue driven Korean film, then, this ain't for you!...But, if you want to just chill and watch a decent action/disaster flick from Korea, then, this will probably fit the bill!

    I think it's in the 6-7 out of a 10 star range!...Ehhhh! I'll give it 7 stars!
  • THE TOWER is nothing more than a modern-day remake of the Irwin Allen disaster classic THE TOWERING INFERNO, updating the storyline with modern technology and modern effects but dealing with exactly the same type of logistical intrigue and scared survivors drama. It's slightly melodramatic, as is the case with a lot of Asian cinema, but it's also highly efficient with it. It may not be up there with the best of the genre, but it's better than the comparable likes of AFTERSHOCK and THE SINKING OF JAPAN.

    The narrative takes on a familiar construction with the first half hour building the characters before letting rip with a major accident, then working its way through a series of alternative disaster scenarios. Survivors are fried, dropped, blown up and put into various perilous situations, and it's all handled with more than a modicum of efficiency by director Kim Ji-hoon. It's also well paced and technically efficient, with decent CGI adding to the peril and some well-placed comic relief offsetting the more dramatic moments.

    Is THE TOWER original? Not a jot. Is it as good as the original? Not by a long shot. Is it entertaining? Oh yes. It may be no classic, but as modern disaster cinema goes this is one of the better ones you'll find out there.
  • I went in to this expecting a fun and cheesy disaster flick, and I got that. I just wish it had been done a little better. The first 30 minutes is all character development, which I didn't mind that much. My only issue would be the cheesy comedic relief characters, which continue to attempt to be funny in a film containing lots of drama and disaster, which I felt is not good for a film like this. I appreciate black comedy, but this just felt like it was trying to make us laugh for the sake of laughing, and it didn't mix well with the rest of the serious events in the film. There was some melodrama for sure, as there is with a lot of Korean movies, but it felt like it had it's place in this movie. I must mention the CGI, because generally with Asian films I think the CGI is lacking, but this one actually did quite a good job. I think the film could have been shortened, because I found myself losing interest at some points even though there was action occurring, and that is due to the length. I think if these little flaws were fixed, it could have been a really fun and enjoyable flick, but I just felt that the flaws weighed it down and made me enjoy it less than I would like to have.
  • You can't help but to think of and compare this to the 1974 movie The Towering Inferno, given the many similarities between the two films. One of my favourite big budgeted spectacle of a disaster type movie from the 70s, this Korean version written by Kim Sang-Don settles for similar set action pieces, from the parties, to the incidents, to some of the solutions, while adding some of the inherent melodrama from Korea, coupled with a very stark, and rather there for laughs, portrayal of those with religious faith. It is a decent attempt, but one that wasn't out there first.

    Director Kim Ji-Hoon had crafted a decent film that's paced right for a disaster epic of this scale, balancing the ensemble characters with scenes for each to shine in, while priming caricatures for certain death, as you would expect for the body count to rise. Set action pieces were commendably designed, from massive fire fighting, to rescue missions, and moments where characters find themselves in dead end situations, given the set up from early on within the first ten minutes outlining areas where challenges would be dished out, from non- working sprinklers to weather advice that goes defiantly unheeded. Naturally, there's the usual karma and retribution elements being weaved in, with room to showcase heroism and sacrifice. And given the subject matter there's also the educational element when criticizing mass panic that leads people to do the most irrational things, rather than what's right in the various scenario presented.

    And this film is no less star-studded than its Hollywood counterpart too, spearheaded by Song Ye-Jin as Yun-Hee the restaurant manager making her rounds in preparation for a Christmas Eve party, as does the single dad and tower operations manager Dae-Ho (Kim Sang-Kyung), who also forms the complimentary beau for Yun Yee, with daughter Ha-Na (Jo Min-Ah) in tow that lends that father-daughter angle especially when the two loves of his life get stuck in the building, leading to a sort of rescue objective of sorts. Then there's the play up of the fire department, from courageous captain Kang Young-Ki (Sol Kyung-Gu), to Do Ji- Han playing a rookie fire fighter and Kim In-Kwon as another unlikely fire fighter here to provide some light comic relief.

    But while this film has a number of characters rotating through the scenes for their individual spotlight moments, the characterization's much left to be desired, and ultimately you don't really feel nor connect with their plight that much. Unlike the Hollywood version where you really feel for the various characters, and get your adrenaline pumping with each death- defying situation they have to face and overcome in order to survive, Kim Ji-Hoon didn't manage to elicit the same genuine feelings. You hardly root for the characters nor feel a tinge of sadness to those who had to fall, and for those who deserve some just desserts, they get largely forgotten in the thick of things. Lee Han-Wi who plays a church elder celebrating Christmas with his mini congregation was also a character played for laughs, where every moment of prayer becomes answered not by divine intervention, but intervention through coincidence nonetheless.

    In order to differentiate itself and pose a larger challenge, the tower here refers to the fictional Tower Sky buildings, with two massive skyscrapers reaching for the sky, reflecting on the obsession of architects who pander to the competition of having the tallest building in whichever modern city, and linked together through a glass bridge that you know is nothing more than a set up for something later on in the movie. Even though it's fictional, with reliance on CG to provide the illusion of scale and mass, the tower does become a character in itself, though in less successful terms if compared against the Hollywood original. CG was also obviously used in many of the disaster scenes, such as having choppers crash onto the facade and through into the building to become the catalyst. But CG cannot be used to replace solid story-telling, which is that little trip up that The Tower had suffered at various points where scenes felt disparate and transitions didn't gel too well.

    But The Tower has its moments and would thrill the new film goer who hasn't seen The Towering Inferno, but to those who have, this Korean version hardly throws up something new nor surprising, coming off as a shallower knock off that could have done a lot better with the material and resources at its disposal. Still, it did good business at the Korean box office, and
  • This film is basically a remake of The Towering Inferno post 9-11. There's a twin tower building full of people that catches fire by accident. There's no water available on the critical floors so the fire spreads. There are lots of people trapped inside the building and rescuers doing their best to save them.

    Really, you know what you're going to get, there's no surprises, and it all comes down to how well executed the action sequences are and whether we care about the people involved in the tragedy. For me, this film works. Granted it's Korean and subtitles take some of the tension away as your eyes are flicking to the bottom of the screen to see what's bring said. But, this film really works as a 21st Century disaster film.

    There's lots of big action sequences, big fires, explosions, burning bodies, falling bodies, tons of special effects. It's all exciting stuff in a very PG sort of way.

    Taking advantage of knowledge gained in the 9-11 disaster, we see steel frameworks buckling, people tacking pleas to find their loved ones on nearby walls, burning debris falling from the top of the building; everything that happens to modern buildings when they burn.

    My biggest criticism of the film is that there are too many characters. The film takes 30 minutes before the fire starts and in that time we meet the maintenance manager and his child, the restaurant manager, the head chef, the incompetent chef, the incompetent chef's girlfriend, the maintenance manager's friend, the rookie fireman, the fireman sergeant, the work obsessed fireman, the lottery winner, the Christian, the mother of a college student, the college student, the building manager, the building owner, the snooty woman and her dog, and so on and so on. Really, there are just too many. Cutting the number down and shortening the introduction would have improved this film a lot, allowing us to care more for fewer characters.

    Whilst most of the film is deadly serious, there is some light relief provided to make the film more watchable - two hours of relentless disaster is just too depressing. In particular, the character of the fireman sergeant is likable, comical, but still very serious in his actions. My favourite moment comes when he prays for, and gets, a tsunami, dozens of floors up the building.

    I can't imagine this film being made in America, post 9-11, and many Americans may find it too distressing to watch but, as a reboot of the disaster film genre, it's great success.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK I'm a sucker for any movie with big red trucks with ladders and sirens so when I saw this on Netflix I thought I would scroll through if only just to look at the Korean fire appliances. I suspected from the description that this was going to be a remake or at least heavily influenced by the Towering Inferno. I wasn't wrong and it also appeared to have some Backdraft and Ladder 49 influences as well. The version I saw was subtitled and I can help but suspect that some of the movie was likely lost in translation. I think this is particularly true in some of the firefighter communications. I thought some of the acting early on at the fire station was over the top, but during the actual action sequences, it was believable even with the language barrier. Another influence that can't be missed is the similarity of this incident and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Some of the visuals were obviously inspired by the images of that day. The movie was well shot and the special effects were as good or better than the standard Hollywood movies of today. I saw the Towering Inferno in the theater in the early 70's and count it among one of my favorites along with Backdraft from the early 90's. But both of these films were pre 9/11 and it's interesting to see what a sky scraper disaster movie looks like post 9/11.
  • While The Tower may come off as a Korean remake of The Towering Inferno, but even so, this is a thrill ride that doesn't skimp on emotion either. A moving, effective, and thrilling disaster piece, once it gets going, it rarely lets up.

    At the center of the film is Dae-ho, a single father who helps manage the safety of Sky Tower, a fictional super-high rise in Korea. Home to many luxurious apartments and amenities, including a restaurant. Taking place on Christmas Eve, a massive party turns into a massive disaster as an accident sets the building ablaze. Dae-ho's daughter, who joined him for the party, becomes stranded and Dae-ho attempts to rescue her. Helping him are the nearest firefighters, who make a heroic attempt to save the people trapped inside and put out the blaze.

    The film has a number of secondary characters and side stories, all of whom we're introduced to within the first 30 minutes. The film does a good job setting up our characters and giving us reasons to care about them, from the cleaning woman and her college age son whose tuition she supports, to the elderly couple, of whom the man in the relationship is trying to be more supportive and caring towards his wife. Each of these side characters has great moments and you care enough about them to want to see them all survive. When the time comes that not all of them make it, it's truly tragic. It helps that the acting, even if a bit melodramatic, is effective. Dae-ho, in particular, is an effective father who never comes off as less than heroic.

    However, the heart of the film is the disaster itself, and more so than any film in the past couple years, the disaster here is truly epic and effective. While the film isn't terribly gruesome, it doesn't shy away from showing us the tragedy or effects of the disaster in the film. There is a bit of blood here and there, but most of what is effective is due to the scale of the disaster or the intimacy that we have with the people effected by the chaos. One great example comes from an elevator full of people who become trapped amidst a floor with a raging fire. The film doesn't shy away from giving us a glimpse inside the elevator for effect.

    And once the disaster does hit, the film rarely slows down. Obstacle after obstacle is thrown in the path of our characters. Not everyone makes it, giving the film an edge of suspense that leaves you wondering who will make it out alive and who won't. Disaster films are at their best when they display two things: the tragedy these disasters bring and the suspense of never really knowing what is going to happen next. The Tower brings tons of both. All in all, this is a great film with a wonderful heart.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have to admit, after watching the film I went to see other people reviews on IMDb and such. A lot of reviewers did compare it to "The Towering Inferno". I have to say - I have not watched Towering Inferno. Having said that, lets begin:- The Tower starts off normal by showing you the characters and what they are like before the inevitable disaster. All the characters you are meant to like, you like and those you hate, you hate. The actors of the firefighters particular stood out to me, especially the captain. Throughout the whole film there I sympathized and rooted for the character to get out of the tower alive.

    The special effects, both CGI and real, are something to be marveled at. The fire looks dangerous and scary and is a great set piece for some shots, especially in a scene where some firefighters are fighting the fire on a walkway with the group of men silhouetted against the raging fire. The debris and glass that rains down on the characters as well just make the film more tense and horrific. The film has amazing suspenseful parts, with a scene involving a glass bridge being very well shot and with a great tension throughout the whole scene.

    The film was a fantastic watch and one of the few films where I had a lump in my throat as well as having me on the edge of my seat when the first flame lit up the tower. A great film and well worth a watch, one of the best disaster films I have seen in the last few years. :)
  • I found it really good, always love watching foreign movies, and it made me cry so much at the end!!
  • Blah blah blah, is this a remake of The Towering Inferno (1974). For me it isn't, it's not because a disaster is taking place in a building that it is a remake of an old classic. But this flick here isn't for everybody because if you can't stand Asian flicks than stay away from this.

    The way the acting is and the way characters are talking to each other doesn't add towards the easiness to watch this flick. Just see how the boss of the tower and the workers are handling towards each other. But on the other hand this isn't really a disaster flick, it's more an ode to the fire brigades risking their life every day.

    Not that it was all that bad, the effects used were sublime. And there is suspense throughout the whole movie. There was even the typical Asian humour to see. But at the end of the day I thought that it would contain a bit of those Asian gore in it but it wasn't. It's not a bad movie and you will have flashbacks to the 9/11 event like people jumping out of the building and when the tower collide, well, if you were all ready there on 9/11 you will have some memories.

    Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 4/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
  • This film is a "disaster movie" all right!! A huge DISASTER! The writing is absolutely horrid; one tired, unrealistic, silly cliché after another. The acting fits perfectly with the dialog; it is equally horrendous. And the "predictability factor" is off the charts; here's how predictable it is. Even if you HAVE NOT SEEN IT you know EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS! How's that for predictability? However, the awful writing, the dreadful acting, and the predictable predictability are NOT what's worst about this film. The real repulsiveness comes from the shameless way this film takes from the TRUE DISASTER of 9/11/2001, right down to people putting up photos of loved ones on billboards along the sidewalk. It's shameless, exploitation, and unwatchable. The CGI was wonderful, but what an abject waste of technology. Don't see it. You've got better things to do.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The film opens to the apartment of single father Dae-ho and his pre-teen daughter Hana. The weather prediction for Christmas is for above normal temperatures and no snow. Dae-ho tells Hana there will be snow, and makes it a promise. It's not a safe bet promising a child something for which you have no control.

    There's a big cast, with several story threads. There are the members of the fire department, including a new recruit, and a group of weary veterans. The cooking staff gets quite a few frames. There are representative inhabitants of the towers, families and businesses, and those who interface between tower management of the clients. There is a lot of money invested in the Tower, and a lot of liquidity used to keep it going.

    Early on, hanging weaknesses are made clear: some pipes had frozen, and sprinklers between floor 60 and floor 80 were rendered inoperable. The discoverer was told to re-prioritize on the Christmas party. A second group brings up an issue with the chairman of the managing company: there is a danger of a sudden updraft near the Tower. This would make helicopter flights near the Tower more risky. The Chairman asks to be put in touch immediately with the Commissioner of the relevant regulatory agency.

    Dae-ho and his co-worker Yoon-hee have a number of interactions. When Hana appears to be unhappy, Yoon-hee helps Dae-ho out.

    During the evening celebration, there are fireworks and helicopters flying nearby to provide a simulated snowfall. It all looks rather nice. People in and near the Tower are quite impressed. Hana is really happy that Dae-ho's promise came to pass.

    However, the updraft problem manifests, and a couple of the helicopters go out of control, resulting in crashes into the Tower. A fire starts an spreads rapidly. The other hanging weakness falls, since the fire started in levels between 60 and 80, where the sprinklers are blocked.

    Just about anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. There's a fire in the elevator well. Some of the elevators do not work. There is no way out for many. By chance, Yoon-hee and Hana are together, and they get rejected from riding the elevator in the well with the fire. Yoon-hee's observation and quick thinking save them when the fire bursts open the elevator door.

    The various story lines follow characters through the fires, falling architecture, rescue attempts, and difficult decisions made in trying circumstances. Who will survive? Will the idiots who set up the conditions that led to the disaster be taken to account?


    Cinematography: 10/10 Excellent.

    Sound: 6/10 Incidental music is florid, hyperbolic.

    Acting: 8/10 Well done for most characters in a big cast. A small minority were remarkably bad.

    Screenplay: 8/10 Combines a number of easily recognizable human traits: stupidity, avarice, cutting corners, courage, self-sacrifice, heroism. The exposition was good for the many difficult situations the characters faced.

    SFX: 10/10 Impressive.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Korean cinema, not too well-known outside of film festival circuits and high-minded movie lovers. THE TOWER, however, might just bridge that gap and introduce to the world what Korea has to offer. THE TOWER is pretty much one of those old disaster flicks, THE TOWERING INFERNO comes to mind, that's been updated. On Christmas Eve, a 100-story apartment building is celebrating the holiday season. However, trouble ensues when a passing helicopter crashes into it. Now residents are trapped by fires, without electricity, as rescue workers struggle to get them out before the tower collapses. Like in all disaster films, we're introduced to a large cast. Most of whom wind up dying. Of the main characters, they include a security guard desperately trying to reach his young daughter, heroic firefighters (one who'd prefer to put himself in danger rather than be home with his wife), and a group of Christians desperate for a miracle. The film is beautifully shot and directed, and every performance is spot-on. At turns heart-rending, tragic, comic and pulse-pounding, the viewer will not be let down. So if you haven't seen it yet, go rent it now and add it to your holiday list.
  • The movie is in perfect pace full of action, thrill and emotions. Just spectacular in every single aspect! Movies like these are rare nowadays!
  • Rrrobert22 September 2020
    Enjoyable reworking of The Towering Inferno.

    This one has some great set pieces and a few cool moments.

    It loses points for spending way too long on introductory comedy bits but not always establishing the characters well (some seem to have neither names nor dialogue). Then it suddenly goes straight from light comedy to wholesale disaster with no build-up.

    The later action sequences redeem it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was very hopeful when I found out that Korea was making its own disaster films. Yes, I love disaster films! And no, I have no idea why!

    Anyway, the first half hour here is character setup, which is pretty normal for most disaster films. Here, that half hour is pretty much comedy, which is probably why IMDb lists "Comedy" as one of this film's genre types.

    When the disaster hits, it hits hard! It's very visceral, and is R- Rated, unlike in other disaster movies from the past. I was impressed with that.

    The next hour is rescue of who can be rescued, and contemplation about how they can stop the fire, and save the twin skyscraper next door. The solution has some real issues.

    (BEGIN SPOILERS) They decide to knock down the burning skyscraper, resulting in a way-too-9/11 sequence of the tower coming down almost like the World Trade Center towers did. And, the aftermath has the smoking plume of dust rising into the sky, just like on 9/11.

    As you can imagine, I found that highly disturbing, as there were certainly other paths they could have taken. Plus, as we saw on 9/11, having a skyscraper like that come down so violently could critically damage other buildings nearby. Here, the skyscraper right next to it almost certainly would have been shaken to the point that it too would be uninhabitable. (END SPOILERS)

    So, for the disaster section itself, and for some of the rescue, I was very impressed. But, I have very real issues with the end of this movie.

    ***** (5 Out of 10 Stars)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This appears to be another movie given very positive reviews by people somehow connected with it; not much else could explain either the ten glowing reviews or why only one of the 13 even mentions the unbelievably sick "disaster" parameters in this shameful piece of junk. Forget that everyone from the kitchen help to the romantic interests to the fire fighters behave like a bad remake of laurel and hardy for the first 28 minutes. Forget that the movie is supposed to be an attempt to "update" a great Irwin Allen disaster movie from the beginning of the disaster movie era (if it is that, it is so only in a superficial manner).

    No, let's take a look at the black-hearted ugliness lying at the center of this film. I knew something was really wrong the moment I saw the films depiction of the just why would someone remake The Towering Inferno using a bad CGI building that looks exactly like a cartoon version of the Twin Towers? I soon found out.

    Because, in essence, this flick is poking fun at what happened in NYC on 9/11.

    The fire starts a bit after half an hour into the film because a sudden updraft somehow manages to catch a bevy of helicopters flying around the twin towered high rise to drop artificial snow during the fireworks display highlighting the huge welcome tenants party in the upstairs ballroom...and cause them to go out of control and strike the building.

    The scenes of the actual strikes include some that so closely depict the fire starting across the line of windows it's stomach churning.

    The scenes of people screaming and running violently evoke what must have been happening after the terrorists' blammoed that first plane into the Twin Towers....

    The "solution" at the end involves a scene supposedly shot from above the building...showing a tower collapsing down upon itself....

    My feelings upon seeing that much are indescribable. I hope this review is voted near the top so that others who had some kind of involvement in that horror, lost people in it, or suffer from the reactions many Veterans like myself have upon just remembering (much less seeing it used in such a blatantly sick way)will be warned and stay away from it. I stopped the movie between 35 and 40 minutes in after seeing that yes, these sick freaks actually were using 9/11, and advanced it to near the end just to check whether or not they kept it up and found that horrifically pointed ending. I'd like to spare anyone else that knowledge of what some people out there are capable of doing.

    This movie is not a remake of The Towering Inferno, though it bears the same name as the book that movie was based upon. It is a sick pointed slyly vicious holding up of the horrors and losses in a comedified sort of gloat that frankly engenders an enduring negative view of Koreans.
  • sercasti4 January 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    Really, don't waste your time looking at this movie. it is annoying, ridiculous and stupid. I regret wasting my time with this movie.

    Why do you need 70% of the dialogs with people shouting? It gave me a headache

    A server room with no sprinklers or argon? a bomb with a single detonator? demolishing a tower with a few bombs in 10 minutes? Escaping a demolition inside a current and no one is drown?

    Some characters where just meaningless, but wasted several minutes on them. even my dog fell asleep with this movie.

    I cannot even complete the 10 lines required to submit a comment, this movie is not worth it.
  • When Koreans are original their films or music can be (and often are) great. But when they are derivative, it is just cringe-worthy. If you have seen Towering Inferno you have see this. There's not a great deal of difference. There is just no originality in it. It seems like the producers assumed no one would remember the other movie. I am so embarrassed for everyone involved in it. Funny thing is, the Korean filmmakers seem to have no shame about stealing intellectual property without attribution. I tried to enjoy this but it continually reminded me of the original without having much new to offer and it certainly didn't have the quality actors that were in the original.
  • The effects in this disaster movie are as good if not better than many Western blockbusters that cost 10 times more to make. Lots of interesting and exciting scenarios - on the gondola on the sky bridge etc. You get a lot of bang for your buck here.

    Some of the humour is corny and there is some overacting with the self sacrifice and all that.

    Still an impressive and entertaining disaster movie.
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