Tower Heist Movie Review – Brett Ratner has a pretty good track record when it comes to directing big budget films. In addition to the Rush Hour franchise he’s also helmed 2002’s Red Dragon and 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. His latest film is Tower Heist, a comedy starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Peña, Téa Leoni and Alan Alda.
The film centers on the staff of The Tower, a prestigious Manhattan apartment building. Described as the most valuable real estate on the planet, The Tower’s biggest luxury is the service provided by the staff. Lead by building manager Josh Kovacs (Stiller), the staff caters to their residents’ every need. The group finds itself in dire straights when all of their pensions are lost to a Ponzi scheme by penthouse-dweller Arthur Shaw (Alda). Compelled to make things right for his staff Kovacs and his Tower friends enlist Slide (Murphy), a petty thief they believe can help them steal Shaw’s remaining fortune while he is being watched by FBI Agent Claire Denham (Leoni).
Stiller is his typically affable, underdog-styled good guy. Affleck does quite well as the defeated Charlie while Broderick’s characters seem to get meeker with each subsequent role. Sidibe and Peña both provide plenty of laughs as they round out Kovac’s team.
However, Eddie Murphy and Alan Alda really steal the scenes they’re in. Murphy at times seems like an older, angrier version of Eddie Valentine, his iconic role in Trading Places. His lines are delivered with the skill you’d expect from a legendary comic. If nothing else he proves he can still deliver the sharp, biting comedy of his youth.
Alda is in his element as Arthur Shaw; transforming from a down-to-earth millionaire into a smug thief who doesn’t care who he’s hurt. Alda makes it look effortless and delivers his lines with ease and confidence. This certainly isn’t a career-defining role but it does give him opportunity to show that he’s become the premiere character actor of his generation.
Tower Heist has plenty of the physical action-comedy that Ratner does so well. Though the plot is fairly obvious and easy to follow the actors seem to be having a good time and that sense comes across to the audience. Tower Heist is a fun flick that doesn’t try to be sophisticated or intellectual. It’s a comedy and a good one at that. Recommended.
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