In a world where technology is becoming an ever increasing part of our daily lives with the use of mobiles and tablets to control appliances around the home "Murder on the 13th Floor" gives us an ever so slightly futuristic look with a heavily computerised apartment. The thing is that the whole idea of an apartment where the toilet analyses your business for health problems and there are tiny cameras everywhere connected to tablets is the only thing which is interesting about the movie. And sadly the whole technological side is just the mechanism for a jealous wife trying to have the nanny killed for having an affair with her husband which ends up making "Murder on the 13th Floor" both obvious and slim. Having said that it is not terrible and falls into the group of movies you end up watching as background entertainment whilst doing other things.
From a child Jordan Braxton (Sean Patrick Thomas - Halloween Resurrection) had a vision for an apartment block from the future where computers assist living from virtual mirrors to toilets which check your health. But having created his vision it is also his downfall as via the various systems in place his wife Ariana (Jordan Ladd - Cabin Fever) discovers not only that he is having an affair with Nia (Tessa Thompson), the nanny, but that Nia is pregnant as well. With divorce not being worthwhile Ariana hires some men to kill Nia.
So as I mentioned the best part of "Murder on the 13th Floor" is the whole technology side of things but I will get to that in a minute because we have a huge flaw in the story to contend with first. So here we have a movie which sets up Ariana as being an ice queen who lets the nanny be more of a mother to her son Cody than she is. The reason why is so that we are guided into disliking her and championing Nia as an innocent accepting the affair with Jordan because Jordan believes his marriage is a mistake. That alone is just one of the numerous problems which befall this movie which also has further issues from comedic tone, terrible dialogue and a lot of cliche drama and action.
But then the element which saves "Murder on the 13th Floor" is the whole technology side but not in how it is pivotal in the drama as Nia finds herself being chased around the building by two heavies. Nope there is just something amusing about a computer system which checks your business when you have been to the toilet and informs you of any medical conditions you might have. There is also something amusing about young Cody playing hide n seek with the computer system as he tries to avoid detection. None of it is that believable including the whole virtual mirror scene which I swear was included just to feature Jordan Ladd in her underwear.
Talking of Jordan Ladd well she along with Sean Patrick Thomas and Tessa Thompson are saddled with some typically poor characters who fail to ring true and unfortunately force some over acting out of the cast. On the subject of over acting Bruno Amato and Brennan Elliott as are two heavies over act even more and at points "Murder on the 13th Floor" edges ever closer to crossing the line and becoming an all out comedy especially when Bruno Amato as Marco dons a decorative mask to be the bogeyman.
What this all boils down to is that "Murder on the 13th Floor" is not terrible but rather than be an exciting thriller it is more entertaining for what is poor about it. With the exception of the amusing technology side it is ordinary and the sort of movie which you find yourself doing other things whilst it is on.