NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Tower Heist Film Review

By     get stories by email

Victims Turn Tables on Con Man in Murphy-Stiller Buddy Comedy

By the time Wall Street titan Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) was charged with running a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, it was already too late for the authorities to find the fortune that he had ostensibly hidden in offshore accounts. As a condition of being released on bail before trial, he was ordered kept under house arrest in his luxury penthouse at The Tower, an exclusive high-rise located on Central Park West.

While this development might have prevented the arrogant embezzler from becoming a fugitive of justice, it simultaneously left him surrounded by some of those he'd swindled. For, not only had he stolen from the wealthy, but he had also talked the staff at The Tower into trusting him with all the assets in their pension fund.

Consequently, the callous con man's victims include building manager Josh (Ben Stiller), Lester the doorman (Stephen Henderson), Enrique the bellhop (Michael Pena), Odessa the housekeeper (Gabourey Sidibe), Charlie the concierge (Casey Affleck) and bankrupt, fellow resident Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick).

Reluctant to let Shaw walk away with their money, the group hatches a plan to take the law into its own hands, upon learning that the remorseless embezzler has stashed about $20 million in cash somewhere in his condo. After all, as employees, they certainly have intimate knowledge about and unusual access to the inner workings of The Tower, although they will still need the help of a real crook, since none of them have ever cracked a safe before.

So, Josh enlists the assistance of Slide (Eddie Murphy), a motor-mouthed petty thief he's occasionally encountered on the street. Once Slide joins the conspiracy, the only remaining hurdles involve first gaining access to an apartment guarded by the FBI, and then robbing it right under the nose of the accused who's restricted to the premises, 24-7.

This is the promising premise of Tower Heist, the latest buddy comedy directed by Brett Ratner. While the teaming of Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller doesn't come close to matching the inspired, screen chemistry of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in Ratner's Rush Hour trilogy, the talented twosome nevertheless manage to generate enough laughs, with the help of a colorful support cast, to make you forgive the fact that the crime caper grows increasingly improbable the further the film unfolds.

A funny, if farfetched, revenge fantasy for folks bilked by the likes of Bernie Madoff.

Excellent (3.5 stars)

Rated PG-13 for profanity and sexuality.

Running time: 104 Minutes

Studio: Universal Pictures

To see a trailer for Tower Heist, visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4KXF7NWFRE

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Directed by Anne Fletcher, Hot Pursuit is a mindless diversion chock-full of the staples of the unlikely-buddies genre, like car chases, and accidental drug use.
Three big budget films. Paper Towns, Pixels and Southpaw. Teens saving a neighbor, retro-gamers saving the planet and a southpaw boxer saving himself.
A post-slavery purge of blacks resulted in a whitening of the Argentine population, as immigrants from Italy, France, Lebanon and Syria were welcomed.
Djimon Hounsou calls in to reflect on survival issues on and off screen, as an immigrant and actor of color, once jobless and homeless in Paris.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E., directed by Guy Ritchie is relatively tame, compared to his usual work, such as Snatch (2000) and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Prairie Miller has a conversation with the star of a new Off-Broadway play, Sandra Lee, herself a victim of rape in the military as a soldier in Iraq.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2015 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site