I’ve seen a lot of 70s movies, so I’m used to how they paced movies back then. That pace is “as slow as fucking possible.” Now, for some movies, like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, I think the slow pace works for it really well. However, this is a movie about a building fire, something that happens very quickly, and if it isn’t, it probably isn’t dangerous enough to be worrisome. Anyway, a very-slow-paced disaster movie about a building fire creates a mashup I don’t think works well at all.
There was a lot of stars in this movie too, and though the acting was all fine, there was nothing about it that I felt was outstanding or even that memorable. I expect more from Paul Newman and Faye Dunaway, but the former feels like he’s phoning it in the whole time and the latter is unfortunately placed squarely as a background roll.
There’s a lot to this movie that’s B-quality (That’s B with a capital Bad). A lot of it is just downright schlocky. It feels like someone read about the Titanic in history class and wanted to basically rip it off. He thought, “well, the Titanic hit an iceberg, but I’ll use fire instead. But what’s the enemy of fire. I know, a building!” But they didn’t go any farther than that with say, comparing large buildings and ships to the size of man’s ego and the rate of technology is rising to a point where it just crashes in on itself, or some other deep metaphor for the folly of humanity. Instead it’s just a schlocky disaster movie.
Why I think it’s on the list: The only reason I can think of is that it’s one of the earliest disaster movies. It was made before they had to be threatening the entire Earth and could just be threatening a building or two. Still, as far as disaster movies go, there are far better ones out there…I just can’t tell you what they are….. (seriously, what are they?)