IMDB Score: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Directed by: Brett Ratner
By Ben Dauber
Every year as Thanksgiving rolls around a handful of family films seem to be released in an attempt to grab our attention as we sit at grandma’s house the day before the big meal. It’s a film that everyone can watch. It usually has a love story and some family directed emotional appeals, but most of all it has some cheap laughs and a happy ending (that even though it embarrasses me to admit it) makes you feel a little warm and fuzzy on the inside.
Tower Heist securely falls into this category, more gimmick and flash than actual substance the film is entertaining up to a point. And as far as the family/holiday film genre goes it is a solid but not excellent entry.
The cast is comprised of past-their-prime comic icons, and despite playing the same characters they play in every movie Stiller and Murphy still manage to get their fair share of laughs. Ben Stiller is again the neurotic and constantly underestimated hero of the film who is complimented by the brash and extroverted humor of Eddie Murphy.
Even though the style of humor is nothing new the duo still deliver enough entertainment to push the film through its less interesting points. Where I feel the film excelled is in putting a twist on some of the basics as well as bolstering the two stars with a strong supporting cast.
The film centers around the hardworking staff of The Tower condominium complex that houses New York’s ultra-wealthy. Stiller is the manager of this relatable gang of misfits, and it is he that spearheads the heist when they find out their pensions have been defrauded by the excellently evil Arthur Shaw (played by Alan Alda).
Stiller then patches together a band of golden-hearted misfits which help him plan the impossible robbery of Shaw’s penthouse in order to get the working folks of The Tower their money back. With the help of small-time criminal and child hood friend Eddie Murphy the rag tag crew goes through an entertaining series of criminal training exercises.
Without telling you too much about the film (because it is the surprise and single use only comic ploys that make it worth watching) it undoubtedly has the classic Hollywood happy ending we all expected.
A cinematic achievement it is not, but there is something to be said for a film that you can watch with mom and dad without blushing that is still somewhat worth your time. Unless you plan on entertaining your family I may not spend the money to see it in theaters, however if you get the stomach flu and run out of sick-day Netflix options you could do much worse than Tower Heist.