Review of 'Tower Heist'

tower_heist.jpg Josh Kovaks (Ben Stiller) is the efficient manager of a New York building owned by the billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) however when Shaw is arrested by FBI agent Claire Denham (Téa Leoni) for fraud. When Kovaks discovers the employee's pension fund that he asked Shaw to manage has disappeared causing the much-loved doorman to attempt suicide he takes his revenge on Shaw by smashing up his car (a reproduction of the one from Steve McQueen action film “Bullit”). Fired Kovaks teams up with Slide (Eddie Murphy), a shady petty thief, Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), an evicted tenant, maid and safe-expert Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe), and elevator operator Enrique (Michael Peña) to break into Shaw's penthouse apartment when they learn $20 million may be stored there.

You would think a cast that includes Stiller, Alda and Murphy would result in an absolutely hilarious film. You would be wrong. Yeah, there are some giggles (mostly from Murphy) but for the most part this is a straight-up heist flick with events climaxing in the robbery. Alda here is as flat as a (very cold) pancake but this should be, perhaps expected, since his glory days on MASH appear to be long gone. Murphy is typical Murphy with a bit more of a hard edge to him while Stiller plays the role straight with very little in the way of expression.

The story is interesting with a few surprises along the way particularly with how the heist eventually unfolds. The characters are easy to empathise with though it is still hard to believe how they very quickly resort to crime for their revenge on Shaw. This “minor” point is simply steamrollered as the film just keeps on going…Some of the action sequences are quite good, particularly on the outside of the building during the thanksgiving day parade. Of course, you are always cheering for the the group of misfits trying to make the best of a difficult situation…

A few chuckles and a fairly decent heist caper. Worth a watch though it most definitely is not the best Stiller or Murphy film around.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2019-06-08

Directed by: Brett Ratner

Studio: Universal Pictures

Year: 2011

Length: 104 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Brett Ratner: