Monday, November 7, 2011

Tower Heist

Tower Heist
Director: Brett Ratner
Stars: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and a ton of other famous actors

I don't have a whole lot to say about Tower Heist really.  It was fun and funny and not all the jokes were in the trailer, though many were.  I'm a big fan of the heist movie and while this had many satisfying elements I wasn't 100% in love with it.  I blame Ratner.  Where movies like Oceans 11 and its sequels are slick and subtle, this one went charging through NYC, calling all sorts of attention to the heist that was going down.  I much prefer the ones where the marks are none the wiser until the perps want them to know what happened.  This kind of had that but then there were big, loud distractions that I totally blame Ratner for. 

Here's the deal: Alan Alda plays Arthur Shaw, a rich, Madoff-type who lives in an exclusive apartment building in NYC.  He claims to be just a regular guy from Astoria but soon enough he's arrested in a ponzi scheme and loses all his Artie-from-the-block cred.  The good folks employed at his apartment building, The Tower, have, unbeknownst to them, invested their retirement fund with Shaw's company.  He promised them the money would triple.  It might have but he's keeping it for himself.  Folks are down about it and Ben Stiller, who plays Josh the building manager, feels responsible.  He kind of is but it's not really his fault. It's all Shaw's fault and Josh, followed by Casey Affleck (Charlie the concierge) and Michael Pena (Enrique the elevator operator), tells him as much.  Things go down, they get fired and Josh decides he's going to get their money back, with help from con, Eddie Murphy, from Shaw who is on house arrest .

The cast really made the movie.  Pena was a standout as the dim elevator operator.  Also a standout was Gabourey Sidibe who plays a Jamaican maid anxious to stay in the country.  I kind of felt like Murphy held back a bit and I wonder if it's because he's trying to get back into more legit comedies and doing it in a slow and steady way. Plus there were folks like Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, and Judd Hirsch who did very well but they usually do.  And actually, those three specifically should work more than they do.   I have a semi-amusing story about Leoni that I'll tell you sometime.

There are holes with plot but like I said, it was fun and I actually laughed audibly.  Overall I was pleased so that's something I guess.  If you want to read a review rooted in a lot more reality, check out what Tracy had to say over at

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