Tower Heist

(I wasn’t sure whether to write a review of this or not, but I paid money to see it so I bloody well will…)

If the words ‘A Brett Ratner’ film make you shiver with fear then you’ll know how I felt going in to see Tower Heist (however lest we forget that he produced the brill documentary, Catfish – shock horror).

The story to Tower Heist is simple: it’s set in a posh residential apartment tower (duh) in New York where one of the wealthiest tenants Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda – evil) is arrested for fraud. Problem is Shaw was in charge of all of the tower staffs’ pensions – which have now all disappeared. The manager of the tower, Josh (Ben Stiller playing the same character he’s played for the last god knows how many films he’s been in), comes up with a plan to get even and get the money back: by stealing 20 million dollars supposedly hidden in Shaw’s apartment. His crew of crims, consisting of other members of staff (Casey Affleck and Michael Peña) and a resident of the tower (Matthew Broderick), aren’t so criminal though, so he enlists someone who knows what he’s doing – Eddie Murphy’s robber Slide (Murphy also playing the same character he always plays). And let the comedy ensue…Or not.

Tower Heist is not that hilarious. But neither is it painfully unfunny. There are a few really good jokes in it and I have to admit that at one point I did laugh out loud and a tear came to my eye – in a good way.

Mostly these laughs come from Matthew Broderick as an unemployed soon to be ex-resident of the tower. He uses the right mix of sadness and feebleness for his character while still being exceedingly funny at other times. And whenever Casey Affleck appears onscreen, you know the film is in safe hands. He’s hilarious and gets some of the films best lines and jokes (red roses anyone?). Michael Peña is also funny if a little forgettable (seeing as how his character isn’t really needed…) and Gabourey Sidibe is good but again it feels as though she’s been added on at the end (which she literally is in the plot) just to include a woman crim in the film – it’s a very throwaway character.

However both Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy are the two most forgettable people in the film – ironic seeing as how they have been used as the film’s strongest selling point. And they’re also not really that funny. Occasionally they pull a few laughs out of you, but more often than not they are completely overshadowed by the other people onscreen with them (especially anytime Casey Affleck or Matthew Broderick is there). This assured casting of the other (actually funny) actors is what makes the film work well and prevents what could have inevitably been a complete disaster.

So…all in all it’s an OK film. Basically if you watch it thinking it’s going to be absolutely awful, it’ll be 50% better than you think it will be.

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~ by square-eyed-geek on November 26, 2011.

2 Responses to “Tower Heist”

  1. Made me laugh and held my interest more than it should have, given how sloppy it is. Call it an acceptable bit of B-minus work from a C student. Good review. Eddie really had me laughing here but he wasn’t the only one.

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