I really don’t understand why Tower Heist was such a big deal for so many people. Perhaps it was the fact that Eddie Murphy was attempting a comeback after a string of flops, or maybe it was the star-studded cast. Unfortunately, despite all the hype, the movie really doesn’t deliver and, quite frankly, isn’t even worth watching.
Tower Heist revolves around Josh Kovacs, played by Ben Stiller, who is the building manager of ‘The Tower’, home to big-time wall-street mogul Arthur Shaw. Shaw, in keeping with the current rage against crooked financiers, is the bad guy who makes away with the employees’ pension funds. This leads Kovacs and his fellow workjers to concoct a scheme to get their own back.
Joining Kovac is Charlie the concierge (Casey Affleck), Enrique the elevator repair man, (Michael Peña) and wall-street-broker-turned-squatter-in-his-own-home Mr. Fitzhugh, (Matthew Broderick). Finally, Eddie Murphy stars as Slide, a criminal who helps them with the heist.
The storyline is derivative and extremely clichéd, and leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, and relies on the same tired plot points as all the other robbery-by-good-guys flicks.
While it starts off in a promising way, it quickly detours into lameville, making you wonder how director Brett Ratner (of Rush Hour fame) could get stuck with a dud that has more holes than Swiss cheese.
On the plus side, there are several action scenes which will make you excitedly wide-eyed with anticipation, and a couple laughs that will tickle you through the rest of the day, but not much longer. Thankfully, Eddie Murphy seems to have regained at least some of comedic mojo and ends up providing most of the (few) laughs. Sadly, the slow pace of the movie ends up ruining the good parts as well.
Of course, if you sit down expecting a mindless fluff piece, then you might actually enjoy it. You’ll also have to switch your brain off for the duration of the film in order to ignore the more glaring plot holes. The side effect of doing that however is that, just half an hour after watching the movie, it’s already fading from memory.
I suppose a 2 out of 5 should be awarded to this one for being fun and a tad exciting, but I have to take away the 3 other points since the movie as a whole is about as stale as a 100-year-old piece of bread.
Published in The Express Tribune, December Sunday Magazine, 18th, 2011.
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