Previews can be misleading. Any decent editor can take hundreds of hours of footage and convey any message he or she wants by splicing together a two-minute promo. “Tower Heist” claimed to be a comedy in the previews, but the final product didn’t garner many laughs.
Ben Stiller stars as manager of a ritzy apartment complex, which is the home of a sleazy multimillionaire. When the rich guy gets arrested for fraud and stealing from all of the complex’s employees, Stiller, a band of disgruntled coworkers and a thief, played by Eddie Murphy, decide to rob the Wall Street tycoon.
While the funny lines were sparse, Murphy did manage to make everyone laugh when he appeared on screen. Murphy is great when he is left to his own devices, adlibbing some hilarious lines.
It’s been quite a long time since Murphy has acted in something that allowed him to be the fast-talking wise guy he plays so perfectly (see “Trading Places,” 1983).
So, “Tower Heist” was not as funny as the previews wanted viewers to believe, but this does not mean it was a bad movie. I didn’t laugh a whole lot, but I was interested and entertained.
“Tower Heist” has an “Ocean’s Eleven” (1960, 2001) feel to it. However, “Tower Heist” is not as clever as “Ocean’s Eleven.”
The characters come up with a well thought out plan to execute a seemingly impossible robbery the first half of the movie, and during the second half of the movie, they attempt to put the plan into action.
“Tower Heist’s” characters are not as skilled or suave as “Ocean’s Eleven’s” crooks, but they still resonate as likable people.
A couple of scenes were actually quite suspenseful, making viewers wonder if Stiller and company were going to walk away with the money, get arrested or maybe both.
For the second week in a row I saw a movie preaching about the little guy — the working stiff — standing up to “the man.” (Last week’s review was on “In Time.”)
What I found ironic about “Tower Heist” was that while this movie lambastes the 1 percent who control the money in the U.S., Stiller walked away from the movie with a $15 million paycheck. Murphy earned $7.5 million for his role.
I wonder how much money the rest of the cast and crew were paid for “Tower Heist.” Something tells me there wasn’t a whole lot left in the budget for makeup artists and lighting specialists. Not that Stiller and Murphy are a couple of corrupt misers, it’s just interesting to
Should you see “Tower Heist”? Why not? It’s not the best or funniest movie of the year, but it’s a solid and entertaining flick.
There are a few laughs and the plot moves fast, leaving little time for the audience to whip out their watches or cell phones to check the time. If you are looking for a surface-deep, crime comedy, “Tower Heist” is for you.
Those who go in expecting comedic gold or a confusing and tricky heist movie like “Ocean’s Eleven” will most likely feel robbed.