The Tower obviously is inspired by The Towering Inferno. And dare I say it even manages to surpass it in many ways. Although The Tower very much is a throwback to seventies disaster flicks where characterization still mattered.
A week ago I have watched San Andreas and while I thought it was decent enough it was a little underwhelming. And mostly because I barely cared about the characters in it. In films like these this is very essential since that is what provides the suspense and thrills. The Tower does this right. It spends some time introducing and letting you get acquainted with the characters just enough so you have a good idea who to root for when things are starting to go bad.
But above all the action is magnificent. Visually everything looks impressive and spectacular. The director really understood that in order to convince the viewer of the threat and the urgency he would have to go full out and not hold back. And my god he does not spare us. People die left and right. But when they do it gets to you. You fear for their lives since it is made sure that anyone could die at any moment. I know how some reviewers say that the characterization is clichéd and all that. So what? If it achieves to make you care about the characters and thus provide real suspense and thrills that way why would anybody object to that? Seriously that kind of criticism is useless since the majority who loves these disaster movies are expecting to be immersed by the experience. Using old plot devices when effective is a good thing.
It's South Korean so there must be a lot of melodrama right? In my opinion here it is sparingly used and balanced out. Since there is also comic relief at times that a Hollywood film would not dare to. The melodrama that is present is appropriate since you can relate to some of the characters and their efforts.
Seriously go watch this film as soon as possible especially if you like me were disappointed with San Andreas. This is one disaster flick you can't miss.