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DVD Review: ‘The Tower’

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The Tower is a Korean movie, released in 2012. It is similar to the 1974 American movie The Towering Inferno, but manages to take the same basic premise and make a surprisingly different, exciting and entertaining new film.

The new DVD release features a full English dub, but it is really not very good. The movie is much more interesting if you watch it in the original Korean with English subtitles.

It is Christmas Eve in Seoul. A brand new, ultra-luxurious residential building that is 108 stories high is celebrating with a huge White Christmas party for the residents and their guests. The movie spends the first 30 minutes or so introducing these guests and the hotel workers, the ones the audience will love and those who they won’t like so much, and this makes the pacing a bit slow in the beginning but stick around. Things start moving quickly soon enough!

Everything is going wonderfully, with much merrymaking and even helicopters flying around creating snow, when disaster strikes.There is a horrible accident which results in a devastating fire. Everyone above the 63rd floor is trapped above the fire-filled floors below. Brave firefighters rush to the rescue, but all are in extreme peril  Who will survive, and how?

Thanks to a good storyline, excellent special effects, fine acting and some characters who you are bound to root for, including some very brave firefighters, an engaged couple, and the building manager, his love interest, and his daughter, this movie will have you on the edge of your seat. You will care intensely about the fate of these people.

For American viewers who remember 9/11, this movie is bound to stir memories. For one thing, there are twin towers, although only one is injured, and of course the stories of rescue, those who can’t be saved, and the brave firefighters are all terribly familiar still. It  has been over a decade, but it did add a disturbing element to the viewing for this reviewer.

Nevertheless, this is definitely a film that any lover of disaster movies should consider. It is dramatic, exciting, full of surprises and extremely well-done both technically and by the actors. If you must listen to the dubbed version in order to see it, then watch it that way. It will still be an excellent film.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.