Tom Hiddleston is our guide as we watch the residents of a modernist London tower block descend into anarchy in a provocative, darkly comic adaptation of JG Ballard’s cult novel.
We take stock of the building’s design quirks and eccentric inhabitants along with Hiddleston’s solitary physiologist, Dr Robert Laing. The upper-classes live in the block’s top floors, with Jeremy Irons’ architect occupying the 50th-floor penthouse, the lower-classes, typified by Luke Evans’ belligerent documentary maker, are at the bottom and Laing is somewhere in the middle.
As the building’s infrastructure breaks down, however, its social divisions provoke all-out war.
It’s easy to tell where director Ben Wheatley’s sympathies lie here, but his anarchic storytelling sometimes makes the film difficult to watch. Still, Hiddleston remains a class act in a certainly timely, and possibly scarily prophetic, drama.